A nine-year-old orphaned elephant died after he was caught up in a bush fire in Kenya, the country’s National Parks and Wildlife Service said on Tuesday.
The boy’s father, a local resident, alerted the National Parks Agency (NPA) when the elephant was caught in the flames, NPA director of conservation, Kenyatta Mukwazi, said in a statement.
The NPA will now take action to rescue the elephant and will look for other elephants to protect.
The orphaned male elephant died on Saturday at a veterinary hospital in Kibera, Kenya’s central region, the agency said.
It was the second death this year of a male elephant at a local forest, according to a Reuters news agency report.
“The Npa has been in contact with the NPA, and we will act swiftly to save this animal and save its life,” Mukwadi said.
“We will work with the local government to ensure the elephant is protected.
We will ensure that all the necessary precautions are taken to protect elephants, and that the people of Kiberabai do not have to face this tragedy.”
The orphan was taken to the forest area to be reared and to receive veterinary care, he added.
“There are many orphanages across Kenya and a large number of elephants are born every year, but this is the first time that a boy has died in such circumstances.”