A report by the Mara Elephant Project (MEP) has revealed that 26 elephants have died in the Maasai Mara in the past 3 months.
According to the report, the cause of the deaths remains unknown but 11 of the jumbos are suspected to have been poisoned.
“In November alone, seven deaths were categorised as “unknown” but there was evidence pointing toward poisoning,” the report by the Mara Elephant Project (MEP) says.
The report further noted that the Mara elephant deaths account for almost 42% of the total elephant deaths through December adding that the cause of the high deaths remain unknown is disturbing.
“The rise in unknown elephant deaths, a disturbing new trend in the Mara Elephant Project needs an explanation,”
In September alone, the Mara Elephant Project says that it reported three unknown elephant deaths whereas the carcasses were all found in close proximity in protected areas of the Mara ecosystem all within a three-day time period.
MEP said in all cases samples were taken by both its rangers and those from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and sent to a KWS lab for analysis.
“In this instance, we’re looking for evidence that poison was used intentionally to kill these elephants. Other things we may find out is if a strong pesticide is found in their system that may have resulted in the elephant’s death. We may also find out that the elephant died of a natural blood disease,” MEP says in the report.