THE PINK DOLPHIN 25/07/2017
“The Pink Dolphin” is the official blog of SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras
Satao II, a 50-year-old elephant who was killed by poachers in Tsavo national park in Kenya. Photograph: KTN screengrab
One of Africa’s oldest and largest elephants has been killed by poachers in Kenya, according to a conservation group that protects a dwindling group of “big tuskers” estimated to be as few as 25.
Richard Moller of the Tsavo Trust said Satao II, about 50 years old, was found dead on Monday and was believed to have been shot with a poisoned arrow. Two poachers believed to be responsible for the killing were apprehended not long after his carcass was spotted in routine aerial reconnaissance of the Tsavo national park.
The Tsavo Trust posted on Facebook: ‘With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers … No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence.’ Photograph: Tsavo Trust/Facebook
“Luckily, through the work we do with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, we were able to find the carcass before the poachers could recover the ivory,” said Moller.
The elephant, named after another giant killed in 2014, was beloved by visitors to the park. Moller said about 15 tuskers, named for impressive tusks that nearly scrape the ground, remained in Kenya out of an estimated worldwide population of 25. “They are icons, they are ambassadors for elephants,” he said.
Satao II’s death comes two days after a KWS officer was killed during an anti-poaching incident in the park, the second to die in less than a month at the hands of poachers, according to the wildlife authority.
The number of African elephants has fallen by about 111,000 to 415,000 over the past decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The killing shows no sign of abating, with approximately 30,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory every year, mainly to satisfy demand in the Asian market for products coveted as a traditional medicine or as status symbols.
Moller said one of Satao II’s tusks weighed 51.5kg and the other 50.5kg. “I am pretty gutted really. This particular elephant was one that was very approachable, one of those easy old boys to find. Many are the others are much more difficult to see,” Moller said. “He has been through lots of droughts and probably other attempts at poaching.”
The Tsavo covers about 16,000 sq miles (42,000 sq km) and is a major challenge for rangers to patrol.
The Tsavo Trust helps monitor the elephants through aerial and ground reconnaissance, and works closely with KWS. Moller praised the “swift action” that led to the arrests.
Source: The Guardian
Leading elephant conservationist shot dead in Tanzania
Wayne Lotter had received numerous death threats while battling international ivory-trafficking networks
Wayne Lotter, founding member of the PAMS conservation NGO. Photograph: Krissie Clark/PAMS Foundation
The head of an animal conservation NGO who had received numerous death threats has been shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Tanzania.
Wayne Lotter, 51, was shot on Wednesday evening in the Masaki district of the city of Dar es Salaam. The wildlife conservationist was being driven from the airport to his hotel when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle. Two men, one armed with a gun opened his car door and shot him.
Lotter was a director and co-founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO that provides conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa. Since starting the organisation in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work.
Police in Tanzania have launched an investigation into his death.
Wayne Lotter with primatologist Jane Goodall (centre) and PAMS co-founder Krissie Clark. Photograph: Krissie Clark / PAMS Foundation
The PAMS Foundation funded and supported Tanzania’s elite anti-poaching National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) which was responsible for arrests of major ivory traffickers including Yang Feng Glan, the so-called “Queen of Ivory” and several other notorious elephant poachers. Since 2012, the unit has arrested more than 2,000 poachers and ivory traffickers and has a conviction rate of 80%. The NTSCIU was recently featured in the Netflix documentary The Ivory Game. In a previous interview, Lotter said he believed its work had helped to reduce poaching rates in Tanzania by at least 50%.
The latest elephant census data suggests that elephant populations fell by 30% in Africa between 2007 and 2014. Tanzania experienced one of the biggest declines in elephant numbers, where the census documented a 60% decrease in the population.
Lotter rarely took credit for PAMS’ success in helping reduce poaching rates in Tanzania, and was always quick to credit the work of the communities and agencies he worked with.
Wayne Lotter with his colleagues at PAMS. Photograph: Krissie Clark/PAMS Foundation
Lotter was a big figure in the international conservation community, having served on the boards of several conservation groups and was the Vice President of the International Ranger Federation. The news of his death has sent the community into mourning. “Wayne was one of Africa’s leading and most committed conservationists. He had over two decades worth of experience in wildlife management and conservation, and can be credited as the driving force behind ending the unscrupulous slaughter of Tanzania’s elephants,” said Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
“Wayne devoted his life to Africa’s wildlife. From working as a ranger in his native South Africa as a young man to leading the charge against poaching in Tanzania, Wayne cared deeply about the people and animals that populate this world,” read a statement released by the PAMS Foundation team. “Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile. He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.
“Wayne leaves behind his wife Inge, daughters Cara Jayne and Tamsin, and parents Vera and Charles Lotter. We all grieve with his family, colleagues and friends. His legacy will continue in our work.”
Source: The Guardian
Gustavo López Ospina
Editor: Pieter Jan Brouwe
All Title photographs of the Amazon Pink fresh water Dolphin are the creation of Kevin Schafer.