ELEPHANTS POACHED IN TSAVO
The Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund, formerly Care for the
Wild, responded to an urgent plea for help from KWS following
the blood shed in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya over the Easter
holiday period. We immediately transferred funds for fuel for
a spotter plane to help KWS pursue a gang of armed poachers
after they shot 10 elephants dead in Tsavo East National Park,
hacked off their tusks and buried them half a kilometer away.
According to Mr. Kioko, KWS director, "A serious shootout
ensued and one poacher was shot dead. One G3 rifle and a total
of 216 rounds of ammunition were recovered. Also a rifle propelled
9 grenade was recovered".
BJWDF has been active in Tsavo East National Park for a number
of years - we built a headquarters for KWS rangers complete
with aircraft hanger for a spotter plane at Ithumba last year.
This new large-scale poaching comes at a worrying time, after
an elephant count in January 2002 revealed that two thirds of
the elephant population had moved into Tsavo East National Park.
CFTW has launched an appeal to raise even more funds to help
them step up the fight against poaching amid reports that even
more elephants have been poached up in the Samburu district.
CFTW Founder, Dr Bill Jordan said, 'Elephant poaching in Kenya
is clearly on the increase. We have witnessed this worrying
trend before other CITES meetings when re-opening of the ivory
is being discussed. CITES had got to re-introduce a total ban
on the trade in ivory, otherwise we risk seeing a return of
the blood bath of the 1980s when poachers wiped out half of
acting director Mr. Kioko released a statement warning of the
inaccuracies of some press reports including elephant mortality
rates in the Samburu District and he confirmed, 'Between 18/2/2002
to date...5 elephants have been confirmed poached, while 3 more
elephants have died of natural causes'.
a previous statement referring to the poaching incident in Tsavo
he warned, "This and previous other incidents in Kenya
suggest that the ivory markets are active and poachers are actively
feeding the illegal trade in ivory. We are concerned that African
elephants in countries like Kenya are threatened by existing
ivory markets in South and South East Asia as a survey of ivory
markets revealed the presence of African ivory markets in some
countries (Martin and Styles, 2002)...KWS also sends out an
urgent appeal to donors and well-wishers to assist with funds
to finance continued and increasing anti-poaching needs in Kenya'.