A 50-year-old elephant named Satao, one of Africa's last "great tuskers," has been poisoned to death by ivory poachers in Kenya.
Satao's death was announced in a press statement issued by Tsavo Trust, a Kenyan-based organization that works to protect the security of wildlife:
"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 well-known for his giant tusks, which weighed over 100 pounds. He was killed by poisoned arrow on May 30th and his carcass was found on June 2nd, but Tsavo Trust held off on releasing information "to avoid any potential false alarms." The poachers cut off Satao's face and stole his tusks, but conservationists who had studied Satao for years identified him from the ears and other marks on his body.
Frank Pope of Save The Elephants in Nairobi spoke to the Telegraph about the elephant's death:
"The loss of such an iconic elephant is the most visible and heart-rending tip of this iceberg, this tragedy that is unfolding across the continent."
According to a report published on Friday by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, over 20,000 African elephants were poached for their tusks in 2013.
[image via Telegraph]