Efforts to curb poaching helped Kenya’s elephant population more than double over the past three decades, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) announced on Wednesday in celebration of World Elephant Day.
In 1989, there were only 16,000 elephants left in Kenya, but a 2018 survey showed that their population had grown to more than 34,000, according to KWS director John Waweru during his visit to Amboseli National Park.
“In the past couple of years, we have managed to tame poaching in this country,” Kenya Tourism Minster Najib Balala told reporters during the event.
“Today we are also launching the Magical Kenya elephant naming campaign, an annual festival whose objective will be to collect funds from the naming, to support the rangers’ welfare,” Balala said. “This year alone, about 170 elephant calves have been born.”
Poaching in Kenya drastically decreased significantly in previous years – there were 80 in 2018, 34 in 2019, and just seven so far this year.
Africa used to be home to 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s, but now, there are only 500,000 left. Less than 30,000 elephants are estimated to be in the wild.
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