Harrowing footage has emerged showing angry villagers hacking an elephant to death in Kenya.
In the disturbing video, which has been doing the rounds on Twitter, a gang of men armed with machetes and axes are seen slashing the poor, injured animal as it falls to the ground.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the heinous attack happened in June last year in Imeni Forest, near the city of Meru in central Kenya. However, the emergence of the video has prompted fresh enquiries from the organisation.
Warning – this video contains extremely distressing scenes of animal cruelty:
Somewhere in Kenya.
Disheartening. People killing an Elephant 😥😥😥
— Gen Panian (@Olepanian) November 19, 2019
Investigators rushed to the elephant’s aid. However, by the time they had travelled the 44-mile journey required to get to the scene of the incident, it was too late, as the animal had sadly already died.
A spokesperson for the Kenya Wildlife Service confirmed a fresh investigation into the killing has been launched in light of the new video, as investigators vow to arrest those responsible.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Kenya Wildlife Service wrote:
The residents came out with pangas, axes and machetes to chase away the elephants. However, the second one fell into a large hole created by the removal of a tree stump, broke its leg and was unable to run away.
Residents managed to catch up with the elephant and hacked it to death.
By the time the Kenya Wildlife Services arrived at the scene, the culprits had escaped.
The graphic footage shows the poor, wounded animal lying on the ground with a huge bloody wound on the back of its right leg.
Its back is covered in deep knife-like wounds, while there is another scrape on its front leg. However, it remains unclear whether this injury is a result of the fall or of the attack.
As the video shows, the elephant makes desperately painful attempts to get onto its feet and fend off its vile attackers, but moments later it is forced to give up the fight and succumbs to its injuries.
PRESS RELEASE ON ELEPHANT VIDEO CLIP IN CIRCULATION pic.twitter.com/Jpz5uJyXmJ
— KWS (@kwskenya) November 19, 2019
In response to the video, the Kenya Wildlife Service said:
The video clip currently being circulated was not presented at that time, hence follow-up was not conclusive.
However, now that KWS is in possession of the video, the culprits will be pursued and arrested with the help of local authorities.
Elephant hunting has been banned in Kenya since 1973 and poachers face a life sentence and $200,000 fine for killing the beautiful creatures.
Rest in peace to the poor animal whose life was cruelly cut short.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.