Daily Nation (Kenya)

MONDAY JANUARY 21 2019

Elephants

 

Elephant are pictured at the Maasai Mara National Reserve on December 3, 2015. Two elephants were found dead at Olarro Conservancy in a suspected case of poisoning. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE SAYAGIE
The two elephants that were found dead on Sunday at Olarro Conservancy in Narok West Sub-county may have been poisoned, General Manager William Hofmeyr has said..

Mr Hofmeyr issued a statement on Monday, saying rangers on a routine patrol discovered the decomposing carcasses of the two animals.

“They were found at different locations by our rangers and community members. The carcasses had their tusks intact and had no visible injuries,” he said.

“The elephants may have been poisoned. [They may have] died after consuming a substance after they strayed into farms,” he added.

Mr Hofmeyr termed the deaths catastrophic – they brought to five the number of elephants that have died under mysterious circumstances at Olarro since the beginning of the year.

PESTICIDES

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There has been an increase in agricultural activities by farmers near the conservancy, concerns including high use of pesticides, which conservationists say has resulted in illness and deaths.

“Information obtained [from veterinarians is that pesticides] can be consumed in various ways – through infected water sources or crop ingestion, which may cause mortality in some elephants in a herd,” Mr Hofmeyr noted.

He said officials from the Kenya Wildlife Service and veterinarians went to the location to collect samples for testing.

The case of the two animals followed those of three reported on January 9 and January 16.

The GM said that in the earlier instances, the tusks were removed, registered and handed to the KWS base in Ewaso Ng’iro.