Africa

Kenya: 26 elephants die in 3 months, reason unknown

11 others are suspected to have been poisoned in wildlife reserve in southwestern Kenya, says report

19.12.2018
Kenya: 26 elephants die in 3 months, reason unknown File Photo

By Magdalene Mukami

NAIROBI, Kenya

At least 26 elephants died, 11 others are suspected to have been poisoned in a wildlife reserve in southwestern Kenya in three months, a new report revealed on Wednesday.

Released by the Mara Elephant Project (MEP), the report said the cause of the deaths in the Maasai Mara National Reserve between September and November is unknown, dismissing poaching.

Conflict between human and wildlife may have resulted in the casualties, according to the report.

The deaths were recorded within the Mara Game Reserve ecosystem, MEP told Anadolu Agency.

In search of an answer to the cause of the killings, the report said: “Based on the location and circumstances of these unknown deaths, there is some evidence that points to poisoning as a result of conflict retaliation.”

It added: “And there are some unknown deaths that point to pesticide poisoning.”

MEP said that Kiprotich Limo, a Kenya Wildlife Service vet, found no indication of disease in the elephants during the post mortem examinations.

“We are looking for some evidence that poison was used to kill the elephants. If a strong pesticide was found in their system, that may have resulted in the deaths,” the report stated.

Kenya Wildlife Service laboratories are yet to release all their findings from the postmortem examinations.

It is only after the findings are released that MEP can be able to ascertain the rise in elephant deaths, the report added.

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