NAIROBI, Kenya – The Kenya Wildlife Service says its rangers are pursuing a poaching gang believed to have killed 11 elephants for their ivory tusks.
KWS said Monday that an entire family of elephants died in the gunfire attack on Saturday. The poachers chopped off the elephants' tusks and carted them away. KWS believes a gang of 10 was responsible for the slaughter.
The killings took place in Tsavo National Park, the country's largest single continuous ecosystem home to some 13,000 elephants.
Elephant poaching deaths are on the rise across Africa because of increased demand from Asia — and particularly from China — for ivory trinkets. Poor African villagers can earn vast sums relative to their normal earning power for killing an elephant and taking its tusks.