Officials at Tsavo East national Park in Kenya have reported the mass slaying of 11 elephants from a single family on Saturday, adding that it was “the biggest single mass shooting of the animals on record in the East African country.
"It shows the great lengths these criminal cartels are ready to go to get ivory. It's really tragic," Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udo told Reuters via Twitter.”The tusks were chopped off, and all the bodies had bullet wounds."
Although elephant poaching had declined sharply in Kenya after 1989 when the government banned trade in ivory, the increasing demand for ornamental ivory in Asia, along with growing Chinese influence and investment in Africa have caused a major resurgence of heinous crimes against the animals in recent years.
Last May, 359 tusks weighing 1.6 tons impounded in Sri Lanka were found to have come from Kenya's Mombasa port, while police discovered 214 tusks worth $1.32 million hidden in a coffin and fertilizer bags in neighboring Tanzania in October. The force said smugglers had planned to transport the ivory to Kenya for onward shipment to Asia.
The Kenya Wildlife Service said foot, dog and aerial units were hunting the gang of 10 poachers responsible for this latest horror.
For a related article see http://www.examiner.com/article/clinton-declares-war-on-illegal-wildlife-trafficking