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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya loses 396 elephants during 2018 reports Wildlife Service

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya lost 396 elephants in 2018 due to diverse causes, compared to 727 that died last year, the wildlife agency said on Thursday.

Charles Musyoki, Acting director general of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), said in a statement that poaching of elephants also reduced by 50 percent from 80 cases recorded during 2017 to 40 cases in 2018.

“All ivory except for the elephants that were poached was recovered and is in safe custody,” Musyoki said.

Musyoki said that wildlife deaths result from many natural causes such as disease, drought, drowning, territorial fights and old age as well as human-wildlife conflicts, accidents and poaching.

He said that the national elephant population has remained healthy with a current estimate of 35,000 elephants having increased by approximately 119 percent over a period of 29 years from 16,000 elephants in 1989.

He noted that the Maasai Mara ecosystem elephants has increased from 1,000 in 1983 to the present 2,493 translating to an increase of 149 percent in 35 years.

According to KWS, in the Maasai Mara ecosystem a total of 61 elephants have died this year, with 23 of mortalities being as a result of natural causes, 10 were due to human-elephant conflict, four were poached and 24 died from causes that were not immediately established since the carcasses were detected when they were petrified and extensively scavenged.

“This year two elephants in the Mara Ecosystem were confirmed to have died from ingesting carbamate when the elephants strayed into farms that were sprayed with herbicides and pesticides,” he added.

He observed that there has been an increase of cases of human-wildlife in the Mara Ecosystem due to change in land use, which is not compatible with wildlife conservation.

           

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