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Satao, Africa's beloved elephant, killed by poachers for Satao's beautiful tusks

Satao, a beloved African elephant well known because of his enormous size and his beautiful ivory tusks that almost drooped to the ground, was killed by poachers, renewing the outcry over the practice of downing some of our world’s biggest and gentlest creatures – all in the name of profit.

Poaching activity in Africa has seen a sharp increase. In the past two months alone, close to 70 elephants have been killed, primarily for their tusks.

The Inquisitr reported on June 13 that herds of elephants are being decimated, with the majority of the killings taking place in Garamba National Park, one of Africa’s oldest national parks.

Reported the Inquisitr:

The poaching is being fueled by an ivory market that is thriving in Asia, with poachers shooting them and chopping off tusks with chain saws. The poachers often remove the brains and genitals of the animals as well.

A report from The Associated Press also found that in many cases, the elephants are killed for nothing more than sport. The carcasses of several small baby elephants have been found recently; they are too young to produce tusks, and the bodies are just left to rot.

Satao was one of the biggest elephants alive in the wild today. His magnificent tusks also made him a target among unconscionable poachers. Unfortunately, Satao, who was 45 years of age, was brought down, and his tusks were sawed out of his head.

The Inquisitr carried black and white photos of Satao’s mutilated body. We warn that they are graphic.

Investigators identified Satao by markings found on the body and by comparing the measurements of the ears with information they had on file. Sadly, they believe it to be Satao, and further confirmed that they have yet to see Satao since finding this body.

The Inquisitr picks up the sad story:

According to a statement by the The Tsavo Trust, an organization set up to track elephants, the elephant was speared to death using poison tipped weapons. It is clear that Satao died a quick but painful death. The tusks were probably sawed off from his body while he was dying. Satao was an experienced and an intelligent elephant who seemed to know that he should stay away from poachers. In the past, he was observed to have roamed an area that was not frequented by poachers. He also took pains to hide his massive tusks in foliage so he couldn’t be detected easily. Recently though, he had moved to an area of the park that had some poaching activity. This was due to the recent rain fall in the region that resulted in the area having grown lots of grass.

In a painfully worded statement, the Tsavo trust says:

“With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers. This magnificent elephant was widely known in Tsavo East National Park, where he was observed with awe by many thousands of Tsavo’s visitors over the years. No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence. Satao was shot dead by poisoned arrow on 30th May 2014.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.”

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