Two suspects have been arrested over the killing of five elephants at Tsavo West National Park, the Kenya Wildlife Service has said.
KWS said the carcasses of a female adult and four sub-adults were found at Losoita area at about 11am on Tuesday.
The suspects were tracked to nearby Manyatta at Ndoomani area in Loitoktok subcounty, Communications manager Paul Udoto said in a statement on Wednesday.
Udoto said the suspects are believed to be part of a gang of four Tanzanians who operate cross the border, assisted by Kenyan locals.
They are believed to have used motorbikes to escape with tusks, he said, adding that a bloody ax, an ax handle, a hacksaw and akala shoes were found in one of the houses in Manyatta.
Udoto said a major operation to track other suspects was launched following reported gunshots at about 6pm on Monday.
The operation involves Kenya police and Tanzanian wildlife authorities, he said.
Four elephants were killed at Tsavo East National park on March 3, when President Uhuru Kenyatta burned 15 tonnes of ivory to mark World Wildlife Day.
Another elephant died at Taita ranch the next day after being shot with a poisoned arrow on its hind leg.
The years 2011, 2012 and 2013 witnessed the highest levels of poaching since the crisis of the 1980s.
In February, KWS director general William Kiprono said Kenya lost 47 elephants and five rhinos to poaching in 2007, 384 and 30 in 2012, and 302 and 59 in 2013.
In 2014, 164 elephants and 35 rhinos were poached, representing a significant decrease from previous years.
Africa was home to an estimated 500,000 elephants but has been losing 30,000 to poaching annually, the UN Environment Program said.
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