Kenya: Two Elephants Killed in Laikipia ‘For Witchcraft’

by May 15, 2012Elephants, Wildlife News

Two elephants were killed on Mugie Ranch in Laikipia on May 8. The carcasses of a young male and female were found the following morning with their tusks violently hacked off and three taken. On inspection, the nails were found to have been chopped from each elephant’s hoof, the female’s teats were cut out and the male’s external rectum was removed.

On the night of May 7, eight gunshots were heard on the ranch and Mugie’s security personnel were immediately deployed. Reports were also made to KWS Olmoran base, but with the heavy rain the security teams were unable to make progress and were forced to call off the search until daylight. The Mugie security team along with a trained bloodhound and a KWS airplane discovered the carcasses the following morning and recovered one live and four spent rifle cartridges. Two live and one spent AK47 cartridge were also found at the scene.

The removal of an elephant’s body parts is a rare practice associated with witchcraft. It is believed the body parts taken from these two elephants will be used for potions for rituals by a witchdoctor. The Mugie security team and KWS have launched further investigations into the incident and remain on high alert.