Ivory poachers have killed one of Africa’s most iconic and well-loved tusker elephants. Satao, whose tusks were so long they trailed the ground, was discovered with his face hacked off at Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park. The behemoth animal had roamed the park for at least 45 years. It is believed he was killed with a single poisoned arrow.
The Tsavo Trust had been monitoring the elephant’s movements using aerial reconnaissance for the last 18 months, and thanks to his enormous tucks the beast was ‘easily identifiable’ from the air. But the technology was not enough to save the iconic beast from the hands of the poachers. A spokesman said: ‘With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers.
‘The arrow had entered his left flank and he stood no chance of survival. We spotted his carcass on 2nd June but to avoid any potential false alarms, we first took pains to verify the carcass really was his. ‘Today it is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher’s poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. ‘A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece.’
It comes after authorities announced that one of Africa’s oldest national parks is under attack ‘from all fronts,’ after 68 elephants have been slaughtered in two months by poachers, some of whom shot them from helicopters.