Despite surviving at least one previous brush with poachers, a Kenya "tusker" elephant was not as lucky last month, reports NPR.
Satao, known as a tusker because of tusks so large they nearly touched the ground, was found dead from a poisoned arrow last month, according to Kenya conservation group The Tsavo Trust. The elephant's tusks had been removed by the poachers, in order to sell the ivory. Wildlife filmmaker Mark Deeble described his encounter with Satao in a blog post, noting that he waited for weeks to try to capture the elephant on film:
"I was mystified at the bull's poor attempt to hide — until it dawned on me that he wasn't trying to hide his body, he was hiding his tusks," Deeble wrote. "I was incredibly impressed, and incredibly sad — impressed that he should have the understanding that his tusks could put him in danger, but so sad at what that meant."
The killing further depletes a dwindling population — there may be as few as a dozen tuskers remaining — in the country. Below, images of Satao and his comrades. --Sarah Eberspacher
Satao. | (Facebook.com/The Tsavo Trust)
Kenya park rangers recover tusks of a deceased elephant so that poachers cannot sell the ivory. | (Facebook.com/The Tsavo Trust)
Satao (left) along with other elephants. | (Facebook.com/The Tsavo Trust)