British Army Fires In Laikipia Kill Five Elephants
They were trapped inside an area surrounded by electric fencing, which had been put up to prevent them from wandering into areas where British troops practice warfighting, according to local reports.
Five elephants, including a calf, have reportedly been killed in fires started by British soldiers at Lolldaiga military training area in Laikipia.
The British High Commission in Kenya on Friday, March 26 stated that investigations are ongoing into the fire that was started during a military training exercise.
"Investigations are ongoing into the fire during a UK-led exercise. Our priority is to urgently assist the local community - we are putting all resources into containing the fire and working closely with the Kenyan authorities to manage the situation," they stated on Twitter.
The fire started on Wednesday evening, March 24, and has so far destroyed thousands of acres of vegetation as efforts to contain it continues.
The British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) whose soldiers were training in the area also confirmed the fire outbreak. Military vehicles were deployed to evacuate those residing nearby.
Four adult elephants are feared to have perished in the flames on Wednesday night. They were trapped inside an area surrounded by electric fencing, which had been put up to prevent them from wandering into areas where British troops practice warfighting, according to local reports.
Defense chiefs are investigating the cause of the fire, which reportedly started when troops cooking a meal on a camping stove accidentally set light to dry grass.
The fire spread quickly but no British soldiers were injured, according to official defense sources.
A photo of a British soldier admitting to killing the elephants has since caused an uproar on social media after it made rounds both in Kenya and in the UK.
"Two months in Kenya later and we've only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome," he wrote in a Snapchat post.
The photo is believed to be in reference to an inferno from last week. Kenyans expressed disappointment in the matter calling out the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to take action.