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Kenya’s elephant numbers double over three decades

Kenya’s elephant numbers double over three decades

Kenya is celebrating an elephant baby boom as authorities crack down on poachers.

Kenya’s elephant numbers double over three decades

The population of elephants in Kenya has more than doubled since 1989, due to efforts to curb poaching.

At an event celebrating World Elephant Day on Wednesday 12 August, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said that elephant numbers have grown from just 16,000 in 1989 to more than 34,000 by 2018.

Tourism Minister Najib Balala said efforts from authorities to “tame poaching” have resulted in the population boom.

“In the past couple of years, we have managed to tame poaching in this country,” the minister told reporters, during a visit to Amboseli National Park.

“This year alone, about 170 elephant calves have been born,” he added.

Balala also announced the ‘Magical Kenya’ naming campaign, an annual festival which raises funds from naming elephants to support the rangers who protect the animals from poachers.

The number of elephants killed by poachers has dropped significantly in the past few years. So far in 2020, seven have died, compared to 34 in 2019 and 80 in 2018.

Poaching is still a massive threat to elephant populations across the rest of Africa. The continent was once home to 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s, but has only 500,000 today, with less than 30,000 elephants in the wild.

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