Satao, the biggest of the big elephants, pictured when still allive
Poachers in Kenya have killed the biggest known elephant there. It’s name was Satao, a male giant whose tusks were so large they would often touch the ground as he walked. But those giant ivory tusks are worth thousands of dollars each, making Satao a target by poachers.
Wildlife officials from Kenya had gone to great lengths to protect Satao from poachers, but last month their luck ran out. Poachers killed the giant elephant with poison tipped spears.
It is reported that the elephant was shot on 30th May with a poisoned arrow and it was not until the 2nd June that a body of a large elephant was found in the swamp. It was immediately suspected to be Satao but tests had to be carried out to confirm the identity of the elephants because of his iconic status.
Poachers hacked off the face to get ivory husks
The killers hacked off the face of the mighty beast in order to take the tusks which were so large that they reached the ground.
Unknown Elephant shown with poacher's spears
The elephants are known as “great tuskers” as their ivory reaches up to 45 kg on each side, making them much sought-after by poachers.
A blog post by wildlife filmmaker Mark Deeble read: “I am appalled at what that means – that the survival skills that the bull has painstakingly learnt over half a century have been rendered useless by the poachers’ use of mass-produced Chinese goods; GPS smart-phones, cheap motorcycles and night vision goggles.”
“I think the old bull knows that poachers want his tusks, and I hate that he knows. More than anything, I hate the thought that poachers are now closing in on one of the world’s most iconic elephants.”
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, at least 100 elephants have been poached in the African country so far this year.