IFAW Africa: Three Elephant Poachers from Tanzania Killed in Tsavo Park

Three elephant poachers were killed late last week (13 March 2010) and one escaped with injuries after an exchange of fire with Tsavo West Park’s anti-poaching unit. The poaching gang from neighbouring Tanzania is suspected to be behind the killing of eight elephants in the Park in the last six months.

This post was filed by Liz Wamba, our Communications Officer in the International Fund for Animal Welfare's East Africa office.

Tsavo West anti-poaching unit with recovered weapons, tusks and poachers' utensils consisting of cups and cooking pots. The anti-poaching unit successfully ambushed and killed three elephant poachers from Tanzania. Photo credit: IFAW/N. Grosse-Woodley Three elephant poachers were killed late last week (13 March 2010) and one escaped with injuries after an exchange of fire with Tsavo West Park’s anti-poaching unit. The poaching gang from neighbouring Tanzania is suspected to be behind the killing of eight elephants in the Park in the last six months.

The anti-poaching unit had laid an ambush after the gang had just killed yet another large bull near the Kenya-Tanzania border. The tusks of the bull were recovered before they could be hacked off by the poachers.

The anti-poaching rangers confiscated two professional hunting rifles mainly used to kill elephants as well as nine bullets, an axe and an elephant tail. The axe is normally used to hack off tusks.

“It is a good moment for both the Park’s staff and the elephants. Luckily, we have suffered no casualties on our side,” said Daniel Woodley, Senior Warden of Tsavo West National Park.

“We were contacted by herdsmen who heard gunshots and suspected that poachers were in the area. Due to the rapid response by our rangers, they got to the area just in the nick of time, before the poachers could kill two remaining bulls.
“Last year, we came across an armed gang in the same area, but they escaped. We recovered two hunting rifles, ammunition and tusks then and we believe that the poachers we just killed are one and the same as that of last year’s as they operated in a similar manner,” said Woodley.

Tsavo is home to the single largest elephant population in Kenya, and its sheer size and proximity to Somalia and Tanzania make the elephants there vulnerable to poaching. For almost five years, IFAW has been supporting Tsavo anti-poaching patrols by providing the vehicles, fuel, tyres and radio equipment they need to protect elephants from armed poachers.

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For more information on IFAW's work in Africa, please visit www.ifaw.org.

Comments: 1

 
Anonymous
4 years ago

I hate to say this, but that's 3 less creeps in the world, so good riddance to them. It's a shame more of them weren't killed and it's also a shame they weren't trampled or gored to death by the elephants.

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