Kenya's famous elephants die of drought, poaching
In the last 12 years, this year has been the worst for the famous elephants in the north of Kenya, Nairobi. Over 100 elephants have been killed caused by poaching and drought-related hunger. Iain Douglas-Hamilton a Zoologist who founded Save the Elephants said "The dry conditions pose a serious threat to the large and majestic animals, whose striking silhouettes across Kenya's broad savannah draw around 1 million tourist each year."
"When (elephants) do not have enough food they also seem to be vulnerable to disease, their immune system weakens and they catch all sorts of diseases," Douglas-Hamilton said Monday. "Elephants, particularly the young and the old, have begun to die."
Douglas-Hamilton also says poaching has increased, and links the surge to last year's decision by international regulatory body CITES to allow Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to conduct one-off sales of their confiscated ivory stockpiles.
Illegal ivory might find its way into banned sales, which immediately boost global damand.
Around 23,000 elephants live in Kenya but populations can be devastated by poaching within a couple of years. A recent survey in Chad showed its elephant population had declined from 3,800 to just over 600 in the past three years.
Douglas-Hamilton also said "The drought is one of nature's big events, it hits all animals, elephants, people and others but the ivory trade is much more serious and could do much more damage if it remains unchecked."