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Satao the elephant killed by poachers for ivory tusks that fetch more than gold

Satao, the elephant was killed at the hands of poachers for his beautiful tusks, which had made him famous because they were so long. These tusks made Satao easy to spot, especially from the air, as they were one of a kind and almost touched the ground, according to the Huffington Post on June 16.

Satao the elephant killed and mutalated by poachers who wanted the rare long tusks that Satao sported.
Facebook / Tsavo Trust

The ivory tusks meant more to these inhumane people than Satao's life did. This elephant died when these very greedy poachers shot him with poisoned arrows until he dropped to the ground and took his last breath. People reports that this elephant was one of the world's largest.

These poachers hacked off the ivory tusks along with a good portion of the elephants face and left the carcass where it fell last month. While Satao was killed in May it wasn't until this month that Tsavo East National Park officials happened upon the gruesome sight of Satao's carcass with his tusks gone.

The elephant was so mutilated that it took 10 days for researchers to confirm it was indeed Satao that the poachers had killed. This elephant was believed to be one of the oldest living elephants in the world at 45-years-old.

A video was taken of the scene right after Satao's carcass was discovered and in the video one of the wildlife workers was in tears. He stood over the elephants mutilated lifeless body and cried. This iconic elephant was one of Kenya's natural wonders and visitors to the park would stand in awe of his great stature.

Pictures posted on the Facebook site of Tsavo Trust, which is a wildlife organization in the Kenya region, are graphic and show the extent that these poachers will go through to get the tusks. The ivory tusks are worth thousands of dollars on the black market today.

The organization announced the death of Satao on their Facebook page writing:

"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," the nonprofit organization said in a statement. "A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece."

Dr. Paula Kahumbu, who heads a campaign called "Hands Off Our Elephants," told the media that the street value for the ivory now exceeds the price that gold will fetch. An ounce of ivory is worth more than an ounce of gold. The 386-square-mile region in which Satao roamed has only one anti-poaching unit guarding over the elephants.

A film maker talked about seeing Satao when he traveled to Kenya earlier this year. He said that he got the feeling that the elephant sensed he was in danger because it looked as if he was trying to hide his tusks when seeing the film crew.

He did this by sticking his head in the bushes frequently as he went by the area. Film maker Mark Deeble said he was "incredibly impressed" to see that the elephant seemed to understand that his tusks could bring him danger. It was also "incredibly sad" thinking about what that meant for the elephant.

The social networks reflected the sadness from around the world after learning about the horrific demise of this extraordinary creature. Savao is not alone, as at least 20,000 elephants were killed across the continent of Africa in 2013. The number of elephants killed last year was reported by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, last week.