Man charged in court for taking part in butchering of elephant
One of the suspects seen hacking an elephant to death in a viral video that emerged on social media last month was arrested over the weekend and arraigned in court on Monday.
The Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) said they said that Kenneth Baabu Muthaura was positively identified and arrested for hacking an elephant in Imenti Forest in Meru county.
Muthaura was part of a group of men filmed mercilessly butchering the jumbo with machetes in the video that went viral on social media.
The video captured a group of people slaughtering an elephant, an incident which KWS later said happened on on June 21, 2018 at Ncoorolboro-Imenti Forest.
According to KWS, the attackers took advantage of the animal’s immobility after it had been injured and descended on it with machetes.
Interestingly, it was until the shocking video surfaced online on November 19, 2019 that KWS learned of the incident and promised to take action.
KWS assistant director in charge of Eastern Conservation area Michael Wanjau on Monday said they managed to trace and arrest the suspect after he was identified.
“We managed to trace him to his home in Meru where he was positively identified by local elders and relatives as one of the persons seen in the video killing the elephant on June 21, 2018,” Wanjau said.
Wanjau said that the bone samples from the dead animal were taken for DNA forensic matching with the tusks to be presented as evidence in court.
Muthaura denied the charges of killing an elephant before resident magistrate Vincent Masivo in a Nanyuki court.
He was released on Sh300,000 bond. The case will be mentioned in January 2020.
At the same time, the KWS assistant director has revealed that 10 other suspects also identified from the video were being sought.