Hunt on for killers who ‘hacked elephant to death’

By Joel Muinde On Wed, 20 Nov, 2019 12:39 | < 1 min read
The KWS says a heartbreaking video clip of members of the public fatally hacking an elephant was recorded on June 21, 2018. [PHOTO | SCREENGRAB]
The KWS says a heartbreaking video clip of members of the public fatally hacking an elephant was recorded on June 21, 2018. [PHOTO | SCREENGRAB]

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said it will pursue people recorded in a viral video hacking an elephant to death.

The video was widely shared on Twitter on Monday with many Kenyans calling on the police to identify and prosecute the assailants.

In a statement published on Twitter on Tuesday, KWS said the incident occurred on June 21, 2018 at the Ncooroiboro-Imenti Forest in Meru.

The 30-second video shows the elephant trying to get up as a group of people use machetes and axes to attack it, targeting specifically its rear legs.

KWS said the incident occurred 71km from the nearest KWS station in Meru and by the time their officers reached the scene, the elephant had been hacked to death and the culprits escaped.

Their investigations revealed that two elephants had strayed from the forest after breaching an electric fence and “raided” locals farms.

“The residents came out with pangas, axes and machetes to chase away the elephants. One elephant managed to escape back into the forest. However, the second one fell into a large deep hole created by the removal of a tree stump, broke its leg and was unable to run away. Residents managed to catch up with this elephant and hacked it to death,” said KWS.

But the video that was circulated this week was not provided to KWS at the time of the investigations, hence no suspects were arrested.