NAIROBI – A total of 396 elephants died this year in Kenya, nearly half of the 727 deaths the African country registered over 2017, the Kenya Wildlife Service said on Thursday.
The southwestern Kenyan National Reserve of Maasai Mara recorded 61 of the elephant deaths, 23 of which were from natural causes, 10 were killed during conflicts between humans, four due to poaching and the most of the cases (24) occurred for unknown reasons, the service said.
“Our national elephant population has remained healthy with a current estimate of 35,000 elephants having increased by 119 percent over a period of 29 years from 16,000 elephants in 1989,” KWS Director General Charles Musyoki told journalists.
“The Mara ecosystem elephants have increased from 1,000 in 1983 to the present 2,493 translating to an increase of 149 percent in 35 years,” Musyoki added.
KWS, in charge of protecting the wildlife in the African country, reported that poaching activities also decreased by 50 percent from 80 registered cases in 2017 to 40 in 2018.