(EvoNews) With the price of illegal ivory increasing and poaching on the rise, Africa’s elephant population has been reduced to what some estimates claim to be one tenth of their population from the early 20th century.
After the recent death of Satao II, Africa’s oldest and largest elephant, in March, passions among wildlife preservation units have been heightened, with many advocates speaking out on stopping the illegal ivory trade.
Satao II, named after another gargantuan elephant who was killed in March 2014, was one of a group of “big tuskers” named for their long tusks that nearly scrape the ground. Big tuskers are highly beloved by visitors to Tsavo national park, and are also highly coveted by poachers looking to export and sell their ivory tusks to high bidding clients, mostly in mainland China. Satao II was shot with a poisoned arrow–luckily, his carcass was found by the Kenyan Wildlife Service before the poachers could obtain the massive elephant’s ivory tusks.
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