February 10, 2015
Nairobi, Kenya – Rangers with the Kenya Wildlife Service shot and killed an armed poacher after he and his gang snuck into a private ranch and killed an elephant.
The response of the wildlife service was fast enough to prevent the poachers from removing the tusks from the elephant. The poachers that weren’t killed escaped on foot after a brief gun battle.
Due to international support from celebrities and heads of state for renewed anti-poaching efforts, the number of elephants killed in 2014 was half of the number killed in 2013. Some groups are complaining that the wildlife service is not really attempting to arrest the poachers and is instead focusing on ambushing them and killing them.
In 2012, the United Nations reported that 22,000 African elephants were poached for their ivory. The $20 billion illegal ivory trade benefits warlords and insurgent groups all over Africa. The Boko Haram is said to be funded in part by poached ivory.