Elephant: Kenya's elephant population has doubled in 30 years

Last updated at 11:29
African-Elephant.Getty Images

Kenya's elephant population has more than doubled in 30 years, thanks to a mission to stop poaching.

Back in 1989 there were just 16,000 elephants in the country, by 2018 that number had increased to 34,000.

Kenya's tourism minister, Najib Balala, said: "In the past couple of years, we have managed to tame poaching in this country."

"This year alone, about 170 elephant calves have been born."

Kenyan-Ranger.Getty Images
Rangers in Kenya look out for poachers

It's the job of rangers to protect the elephants from poachers in Kenya and this year the number of elephants poached in the country is down significantly from previous years.

So far seven elephants have been killed by poaching in 2020, compared to 34 in 2019 and 80 in 2018.

The poaching of elephants is driven by demand for ivory, which is what the animal's tusks are made from.

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Kenya has taken a much tougher approach to poaching in recent years.

Anyone caught poaching wildlife or smuggling wildlife trophies in Kenya will either receive a heavy fine or could be sent to jail.

However, things aren't so good across Africa as a whole. The continent was home to 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s, but today only half a million remain, less than 30,000 of those elephants are living in the wild.

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