The Tsavo Trust, a not-for-profit organization located in Kenya, informed the public on Friday that one of their largest and oldest bull elephants was killed by poachers.
The elephant’s name was Satao, and he was thought to have been born in the 1960s. Satao had tusks that weighed nearly 100 pounds each, which made him a target for ivory poachers. The Trust revealed that Satao was shot with a poisoned arrow on May 30, and his carcass was found on June 2. However, it wasn’t until Friday that the group made the official identification.
The Tsavo Trust released the following statement regarding Satao’s death:
With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers. This magnificent elephant was widely known in Tsavo East National Park, where he was observed with awe by many thousands of Tsavo’s visitors over the years.
No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence. Satao was shot dead by poisoned arrow on 30th May 2014. The arrow had entered his left flank and he stood no chance of survival. We spotted his carcass on 2nd June but to avoid any potential false alarms, we first took pains to verify the carcass really was his. Today it is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher’s poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece.
Satao was previously the target of poachers when they attempted to kill him with another poisoned arrow in March. Wildlife filmmaker Mark Deeble believed Satao knew that he was a prime target, and tried to keep his tusks out of view as much as possible.
“I wondered if my interpretation of his behavior was fanciful, just a filmmaker’s frustration at not being able to get a clear view,” Deeble said, “but whenever we saw him, he tried to hide his tusks and I am convinced that it was deliberate.”
Thank you to all who have made donations today in honour of Satao. We will keep up the fight for all of Tsavo's… http://t.co/s85c9JBmgY
— Tsavo Trust (@TsavoTrust) June 14, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons