Speared elephant dies

I have some sad news to report. The elephant that was speared died last night. We went to see her this morning, and discovered she was a lactating female. We do not know if she had already given birth, or was pregnant, but either one would explain her unusual behaviour, which caused her to be speared.


She had been causing havoc in an agricultural area; destroying crops for the whole day. The community tried to chase her away but she kept coming back and eventually they lost their patience and speared her. She must have been very weak and in need of easy food.


Conflict like this is a sad consequence of living in such close proximity to wildlife. Sometimes animals and humans can’t live together peacefully, and although the game scouts of Maasailand Preservation Trust worked extremely hard to help the elephant, she was too weak to survive.


  • Brenton H says:

    Such sad news and photos! Keep trying your best Lion Guardians!

  • Anna M says:

    Thanks for the update Antony, I can understand the situation and there always a risk for instances like this with human & wildlife so close to each other, still a big thank you to everyone’s effort to try and help her.

  • Pirjo says:

    Such sad news and yet another wasteful death of this majestic animal species. I try my best to understand the villagers and their actions, which caused this, but it’s difficult when wildlife too often ends up dead when interacting with us humans.
    Shortage of fruitful land and water is all they need and unfortunately us humans need the same things. What is the solution that works both ways on a long run?

  • Lisa, California says:

    This is sad news. I hope that in 2009 we can become that much closer to finding a solution to such human/wildlife conflict. We don’t have choice. We are losing these beautiful animals slowly but surely. We have to find a peaceful and successful solution for all. Period!

  • Carl / London says:

    Very sad. Will wildlife survive in their ever shrinking habitat as a result of an ever rising human population? Can elephants be blamed for looking for food in the footsteps of there forebearers?

  • Amy says:

    Is there no way other than spearing to deal with a single elephant? And because she had given birth or was pregnant, that means two deaths.

  • Annie says:

    That is awful……..what becomes of the baby..I understand the people being upset but couldn’t there of been a better method??

  • Pauline says:

    This is very sad news.Tragic. For those in the UK I see that there is a new series of 3 programmes on BBC1 beginning this Wednesday “The Secret Life of Elephants” filmed in the Samburu reserve and the question of conflict with farmers is touched on.

  • Thanks for all your comments regarding the elephant. I think you are right that there must be a more peaceful solution to problems like this, and I hope 2009 will bring us better ways of reducing human/wildlife conflict.

  • sauwah says:

    life for all wildlife is getting harder and harder since we, the people are using more and more of the wild or good land. now due to the climate change, drought will only make life really difficult for all. and the sad thing is neither wild animals nor the african people cause climate change which is created by industrial nations. yet the people and animals in africa are getting the result or punishment. as for the elephants, people tend to be more forgiving than they would for lions or other meat eaters.

    instead of turning more and more of the natural land into farm land, don’t you think the traditional way of herding cattle or other livestock is better for both wild animals as well as people?

  • Christy says:

    We can also thank the colonial, Kenyan, and Western governments for a long history of policy that has led to the land-use problems that contribute to human-elephant conflict. The Maasai struggle to survive on a day-to-day basis by any means they can. They have a long history of tolerance of wildlife. There is no way to go back to the “good old days” when the Maasai were predominantly pastoralists (which facilitated coexistence with wildlife), but there is a need to create land-use policy once and for all that protects what remains of Maasailand and elephant habitat.

  • Christine says:

    Hi, Antony. Thanks for providing this information. Where exactly did this latest spearing occur? Thanks.

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