By Mike Pflanz
Poachers slaughtered an entire family of 12 elephants and hacked out their tusks in Kenya’s worst single loss of the animals on record, wildlife authorities said on Tuesday.
The 11 adults and one calf, less than a year old, died in a fusillade of bullets in a remote corner of the country’s largest wildlife reserve, Tsavo East National Park.
Armed rangers are now hunting the gang on foot patrols, by vehicle and from the air, but there were fears that they could already have escaped with their haul, worth up to £175,000 on the Asian market.
It was the latest in a series of killings of Kenyan elephants that has seen the number of the animals that died for their tusks double in less than two years, to approximately 360 in 2012.
“Every possible resource is being deployed to track down the criminals who carried out this heinous act,” said Paul Udoto, spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service.
“We’ve not seen such an incident in living memory, it’s the worst single loss that we have on record. It’s unimaginable.” More....