(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
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
“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 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.