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Large elephant named Satao killed in Kenyan park

Large Elephant Named Satao Killed In Kenyan Park

Conservationists and others are mourning the loss of one of world's largest elephants, who was reportedly killed and mutilated by poachers.

According to Southern Cross Safaris the carcass of a nearly 50-year-old tusker known as Satao was found in the Tsavo East National Park, one of Kenya's oldest and largest parks. Satao was known as a tusker because his huge tusks nearly reached the ground.

The Tsavo Trust, a Kenyan non-profit organization that supports and protects wildlife, said in a statement, "Satao was shot dead ... killed by an ivory poacher's poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries." The Tsavo Trust includes gruesome pictures of Satao's carcass slumped over in the mud with his face and tusks missing.

Satao's carcass was found May 30, but the Tsavo Trust said it withheld the news of the popular elephant's death-by-poaching until it could identify the remains.

A Guardian reporter said Satao had survived a previous attack by poachers earlier in the year. Veterinarians confirmed that seeping wounds in the elephant's flank had come from arrows, most likely meant to take the tusker down.

Some of the in-memoriam pieces on Satao almost read like an obituary for a human. They describe an elephant as an "icon" who was self-aware, knowing that the tusks that made him popular to observers also made him a target to poachers. NPR reports he might've been one of a dozen left in Kenya.

Wildlife filmmaker Mark Deeble wrote about his encounter with Satao and how the huge elephant attempted to hide behind bushes. He wrote "[Satao] wasn't trying to hide his body, he was hiding his tusks. At once, I was incredibly impressed, and incredibly sad."

A writer for Mashable says Satao's death punctuates an ongoing poaching problem. He cites a report from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora that says more than 20,000 elephants were killed in Africa last year.

That's mainly because "The street value of elephant ivory is now greater than gold, running to tens of thousands of pounds per tusk," according to a writer at The Telegraph.

But there is some good news. The Tsavo Trust said Satao's genes have most likely survived within the park's elephant population through his offspring.

Join the discussion

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relims711 June 15 2014 at 11:25 AM

I hope that the piece of filth who shot that animal dies because someone wants his kidney's, lungs and liver. No good looking for his heart, he has none. The penalties for poaching should be greater and enforced to the letter.

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10 replies
gizmoprof June 15 2014 at 11:20 AM

If Kenya's government had ANY smarts at all, they'd have troops following the elephant herds. If a poacher is seen, KILL them.

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7 replies
bwhitedjr June 15 2014 at 11:56 AM

If life is so meaningless to these poachers that they would eradicate a species altogether just for money, then they should be eradicated on the spot.

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1 reply
Dr. Lindsey bwhitedjr June 15 2014 at 7:40 PM

The Kenyan authorities have adopted a "shoot on sight" policy regarding poachers. Unfortunately there are far too few rangers out there chasing these poaching gangs. Africa is a very big place, and a few hundred game wardens simply aren't enough. I take some comfort in the thought that if they're caught in the act the Kenyans will simply execute them on sight. Little comfort to the elephants, but great satisfaction to the rest of us.

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3 replies
D.I.( Debi) June 15 2014 at 11:32 AM

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!~ These poachers should be brought to justice and buried under the jail!!!

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1 reply
traysteph23 D.I.( Debi) June 15 2014 at 1:29 PM

And so should those who buying ivory products from them. They are just as guilty. As long as there is demand and those willing to pay top dollar, this will continue to happen until there are no more elephants and rhinos left.

Flag Reply +34 rate up
2 replies
Kingfisher Farm traysteph23 June 15 2014 at 2:37 PM

traysteph23: I agree. Until there is no market for tusks/horns, this will continue. I still keep thinking about the baby boy rhino that was found crying next to his poached mother. Beyond sad.

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denise traysteph23 June 15 2014 at 10:29 PM

YES, shoot them as well. When are we going to acknowledge that it is mainly Asians who use Rhino Horns. Ivory I'm not sure of who or what nation is most guilty on this. But get some muscle going and bring these people to justice.

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Driko June 15 2014 at 12:50 PM

WTF, I''m a US Marine, We totally have the resources to do something about this problem, Go kill all this F*****s. We spend all the time in the MEU's floating around doing useless flights wasting fuel, CO"s are only concerns of setting the bar so high for the next CO. What about doing something good for humanity. Plus would be great training. Marines are ANXIOUS to go do thinks like this. (killed bad guys) We volunteer for things like this all the time, but we usually get denied.

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7 replies
tippy301 June 15 2014 at 12:08 PM

Up the bounty on poachers; dead or alive.

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1 reply
mrcraftsmantools tippy301 June 15 2014 at 12:16 PM

dead is preferable

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macdonnall June 15 2014 at 12:05 PM

This is a sad story; the killing of endangered animals for just a few dollars of profit. Likewise the killing of humans, as part of war or criminal act, is troubling. But we must fight "fire with fire". My thinking is beginning to turn against uncaring humans. This earth can only sustain a limited population. Maybe we should make it a practice to eliminate anyone who fails to appreciate their fellow person and who destroys the earth, making it less habitable. In other words, if your desire is to kill others, to destroy resources, maybe it is you who needs to be removed that this earth. Does anyone agree?

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7 replies
Richard June 15 2014 at 11:55 AM

If it's not Ivory it's Gold, Silver, Diamonds, Oil, etc. It is nothing but the greed of worthless people, and it will never change. What a shame and waste, especially of such majestic creatures like the Elephants that don't have a chance against the scum that kills them for their tusks.

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decor4u June 15 2014 at 12:44 PM

This sickens me and makes me so angry I could/would literally kill these poachers myself with absolutely zero remorse. We have to do something about this!!! There has to be stiffer penalites (death!) and China has to be reprimanded/boycotted since they are at fault due to the demand in ivory there. There should be a worldwide ban on ivory!! No bargaining on this. I have seen these magnificent animals in the wild in Africa and I can barely read this news....

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Danna June 15 2014 at 3:43 PM

It's not the damn poachers, it's the damn Chinese who will pay enormous sums of money for the ivory tusks which they either grind up as an aphrodisiac which of course they could just use Viagra, or carve up into ivory figurines.

To stop the killing, one has to stop having a desperate population willing to kill elephants for their ivory to have money to live on. and/or create a steady supply of ivory by harvesting the tusks without killing them.

After that, then sure kill the poachers... .

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2 replies
mielkele Danna June 15 2014 at 5:08 PM

rhino horns too

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chigpot Danna June 15 2014 at 6:21 PM

China might understand the world's hatred for the ivory trade when their own natural treasure, the panda, is similarly treated.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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