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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Two poacher suspects arrested over killing of elephants in Tsavo

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police have arrested two suspected poachers over the killing of five elephants at a national park in southwestern Kenya.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said the two poachers were arrested on Tuesday over the killing of the elephants in Tsavo West National Park, adding that a major security operation is underway to track the rest of the poachers along the border with Tanzania.

"KWS rangers were dispatched on a search mission and found five carcasses of freshly poached elephants comprising a female adult and four sub-adults with tusks missing," KWS said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The KWS said the joint operation by Kenyan police and Tanzanian wildlife authorities, was launched after a report of gunshots heard in the national park late on Monday.

"The carcasses were traced on Tuesday at Losoita area of Tsavo West National Park from where the search mission team tracked the suspected poachers to the nearby manyatta," the statement said.

KWS said the suspected gang is believed to comprise four Tanzanians who operate across the Tanzania-Kenya border assisted by local Kenyans.

"They are believed to have used motorbikes to escape with the tusks. Fresh blood stained axe, axe handle, shoes and a hack-saw were found in one of the houses in the manyatta," the statement said.

Figures show that Kenya has lost an estimated 820 elephants and 90 rhinos due to poaching since 2012.

Kenya has been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several cases of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses reported in recent days.
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