Poachers Poison Rare Giant Tusker Elephant To Death

Published March 9, 2017
Updated February 3, 2019

Poachers murdered this scarce elephant in hopes of stealing his giant tusks.

Satao II Elephant

Tsavo TrustPoachers murdered Satao II with a poisoned arrow.

Poachers killed a giant “tusker” elephant, which are the oldest and rarest elephants in the entire world, this past Monday in Kenya.

Tsavo Trust, a conservation group dedicated to protecting tuskers, told the Associated Foreign Press (AFP) that poachers murdered a tusker called Satao II with a poisoned arrow.

“Luckily, through the work we do with the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS), we were able to find the carcass before the poachers could recover the ivory,” Richard Moller told AFP. Park rangers arrested the two poachers who are thought to have killed Satao II shortly after.

Roughly 50-years-old, Satao II was beloved by visitors to the Tsavo National Park, according to Moller. He added that they named Satao II after another giant tusker elephant killed by poachers in 2014.

“I am pretty gutted, really. This particular elephant was one that was very approachable, one of those easy old boys to find,” Moller said. “Many are the others are much more difficult to see,” he added, as they hide away in difficult to reach regions.

Only 25 giant tuskers remain in the world, 15 of which are in Kenya, AFP reports.

They’re called giant tuskers because their tusks are very, very big. Each of Sataeo II’s tusks weighed roughly 112 pounds. “They are icons,” Moller said, “they are ambassadors for elephants.”

Next, check out how poachers broke into a Paris-area zoo to kill a rhino and take its horn, before finding out about the Indian park rangers who shoot poachers on sight.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.