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Mourning the Loss of a Great Elephant: Torn Ear

Torn Ear in better times. (Photograph by Richard Bonham)

Torn Ear in better times. (Photograph by Richard Bonham)

A beloved, venerable African elephant named Torn Ear was killed in Kenya on February 7 by poachers who shot him with poisoned arrows.

Richard Bonham discovered Torn Ear’s fatal injury while observing him at a watering hole.

Bonham is the co-founder and the African operations director of the wildlife conservation organization, Big Life Foundation. He noticed that the elephant was walking with an irregular gait, and then he saw two wounds behind Torn Ear’s rib cage.

A veterinarian was summoned, and Torn Ear was darted with a tranquilizing drug. It was clear upon examination, Bonham said, that “the arrows had penetrated into the abdominal cavity, and peritonitis had set in, which meant that there was no hope for survival.” So Torn Ear was euthanized.

In a blog post the next day Bonham wrote: “Yesterday we lost an iconic elephant, one of the few left on the continent whose tusks pass the 100 pound mark. I also think of him as a friend of 20 years. Emotions are running deep, as we failed in our mission to protect him. But the greatest sadness is the reality that Torn Ear was probably one of a hundred or so elephant that died just yesterday to feed the ivory trade.”

I asked Bonham about Torn Ear’s loss and the poaching calamity facing African elephants.

Please talk to me about Torn Ear, whom you’d known for so long. What was his significance to you?

I first saw Torn Ear on the edge of the Chyulu Hills halfway between Tsavo and Amboseli. Obviously, with his distinctive tear in his left ear he was always easy to recognize. [Elephants often tear parts of their ears off on bushes and trees, but Torn Ear had lost more than most.]

He then started coming to the Ol Donyo Lodge waterhole about ten years later and became one of our resident bulls. From day one he had a very mellow temperament and was easy to approach, so we were always able to get up close and get to know him. I watched his ivory grow, probably nearly doubling in size from when I first saw him.

We weighed his ivory [after he died], and one tusk just topped the 100 pound mark, which is unique in elephants today and made him stand apart and probably was the reason for his death.

Photograph by Richard Bonham

Photograph by Richard Bonham

Torn Ear died from a poisoned arrow. How common is this way of killing elephants?

Every area is different. Most poaching today tends to be done with rifles, but in the Tsavo area where the Wakamba tribe is predominant, we see a lot of bow and arrow hunters since traditionally they have always been very adept and efficient hunter-gatherers.

A well-placed arrow with good poison can be deadly, killing in 20 minutes. But if the arrow is not well placed…i.e., not into the stomach, or the poison is stale or badly made, it doesn’t necessary kill, and the elephant can survive. However, more often than not, the elephant will die a lingering death through infection. Sometimes this can take up to a month. This method is also popular as there is no gun “shot,” which is always a give away to game rangers/law enforcement/informers, etc.

Have you noticed any response by any other elephants to Torn Ear’s death?

Yes. We put a camera trap on his carcass and have pictures of other bull elephants he used to move around with, coming to mourn him and touch him with their trunks.

TornEarcarcass

Big Life Foundation was started by photographer Nick Brandt and yourself—with conservationist Damien Bell quickly on board—back in 2010. How did you most want to distinguish your work from other wildlife conservation organizations?

Every wildlife area has its own recipe in terms of wildlife protection. There are so many variances that dictate this. For example, is it a protected area? Is it community land? What is the habitat: Is it forested; is it open? Who are the tribes who live in it or around it? How close is it to main roads, towns, villages, and so on?

Big Life is currently working in community areas and in areas bordering national parks. The obvious approach has always been to include and partner with the communities concerned. Get them on side by partnering and providing wildlife-based benefits, employment, and education. This approach gives them a tangible sense of ownership, which obviously leads to success.

On Big Life’s website Nick Brandt wrote,“many NGO’s don’t actually have key leaders on the ground in far-flung project areas coordinating, supervising, overseeing the projects. They try and run their various projects from a desk in Nairobi, or worse, from London or New York or Washington.” Do you think the majority of NGOs are disconnected and failing in the fight against poaching— and if so, what’s the cause of this failure?

I think what makes an important difference is when a project leader is on the ground, living and working with the local communities and wildlife and other government officials. Living here as I’ve done for 20 years, I’m able to better efficiently and effectively coordinate and communicate with all relevant parties. I like to think of Big Life as being a grassroots operation linked closely with the community whom we work with and certainly committed to the long term.

There are a lot of NGOs who are doing exceptional and admirable work, and, yes, there are others who in my opinion pour money down the drain. There are NGOs who have a policy of not employing rangers and scouts, as it means that once they’re employed, they’re committed to a long-term investment. Big Life has been criticized for investing so heavily in employing rangers, [with NGOs] saying it is not sustainable. Conservation is not short term. You have to be in it for long haul. I’ve seen too many big NGOs come and go on their hyped two- or three-year programs—and walk away leaving very little behind them.

Then of course there are others who spend most of their budgets on marketing and fundraising with very little reaching the field. There is a program I know of that from a budget of 13 million dollars, only three million reaches the field.

Some NGOs based in Washington and New York will proclaim that they are the experts in their field. These NGOs are often led by individuals who may have had only a few years actually working in the field. But because they are a big name, with a “Dr.” in front, they think they have all the answers. Maybe on paper it looks good, but in implementing and activating [their work] they have no idea of the reality.

Photograph by Annie Waterer

Photograph by Annie Waterer

What has been Big Life’s most obvious success? 

There is no question that in the areas Big Life operate, the numbers of wildlife killed for the bush meat trade are much reduced compared to pre-Big Life and other areas. We’re seeing numbers bouncing back. The same applies for elephants. Last year we lost five elephants to poaching in a population we protect that probably pushes over 2,000. That has to show we’re doing something right.

We operate a compensation scheme for livestock killed by predators. It’s difficult to quote specific numbers, as we did not know the exact amount before the program, but in one area we’ve turned one lion population from maybe five or six to 50.

Do you anticipate that Big Life’s model will be duplicated in any other countries or regions?

I believe we have the recipe for a hands-on and successful approach to wildlife protection. We have the support of the people that live with wildlife, which is the most important ingredient. In terms of being duplicated, this has been recognized even in the new Kenya Wildlife Act, whereby devolution of wildlife management to those who live with them is recognized.

I want to for a moment turn to Emmanuel de Merode, who is Chief Warden of Virunga National Park. De Merode consistently speaks highly of Virunga’s park rangers. Big Life also appears to elevate the importance of rangers.  Can you talk to me about that?

I’m a huge admirer of what Emmanuel has achieved. His achievements and those of his rangers speak for themselves. It’s all about commitment; it’s not just a job. When we lose an animal here, the rangers take it personally. You can train [the rangers], pay big salaries, make available all types of high tech equipment. But if the rangers are not personally involved, you’re wasting your time.

Photograph by Annie Waterer

Photograph by Annie Waterer

Kenya recently created the Kenya Wildlife Act, which ushers in far more robust laws pertaining to wildlife crimes. What are some of the act’s highlights?

We’ve been waiting a long time for the legislation to support meaningful penalties for wildlife crime. The new act certainly has this component but needs to be tuned and taken seriously by the magistrates concerned with its implementation. We’re currently dealing with a case where a magistrate does not seem to recognize the seriousness that the government has attached to the new act. [See Big Life’s blog post about Pekei, the suspected killer of the leading elephant matriarch, Qumquat.]

How would you rate the response by CITES to the poaching crisis?

I don’t even rate them. They’ve failed completely. One of the reasons we’re facing the current debacle is the disastrous decision they made to sanction the one-off sale of ivory.

How would you assess generally the international community’s response to the poaching?

Just turn the clock back one year and compare the awareness of world leaders to that of today. What’s just taken place in London says it all: We have royals and leaders of state convening to highlight and find urgent solutions to stop the holocaust that wildlife is currently facing.

What is your assessment of employing a military force to combat poaching?

Bringing the military in is a double-edged sword. Maybe there are cases where it is justified, but it’s certainly not a long-term solution. It’s not a war that can be won with guns and boots on the ground. We have to address and kill the market and generate goodwill towards wildlife from those who live with them.

Do you often work with a general anticipation that the elephants you care about will most likely die?

I live with that every day. I see individuals I identify with and see herds I know nothing about and always wonder if I’ll ever see them again. And if I do see them again, maybe it will be in the form of a rotting carcass.

How does this poaching wave compare to that of the 70s and 80s?

I remember the 70s and 80s poaching wave only too clearly and never thought it could get worse. What we’re seeing now puts it in the shade.

Comments

  1. Thomas Wayne
    USA
    March 26, 12:13 pm

    The greatest crime of all within the proposed ban is the so-called “fat-cat loophole”. The news hasn’t focused on this much, but one IMPORTANT clause in the new law would allow any American “hunter” to travel to Africa and slaughter up to TWO Elephants per year!

    Of course, you’ll have to be rich and powerful like the Obamas (Michelle Obama reportedly owns and regularly wears elephant ivory jewelry), or some fat-cat congressmen or Safari Club member or guys like that – AND you’ll have to pay hefty fees for USFWS permits to massacre those majestic adult Elephants and import their huge tusks back to the U.S. But hey, what’s $50k – $60k when you’re having fun slaughtering elephants?

    Meanwhile, an unaware/innocent American tourist visiting China could easily buy a tiny little Elephant ivory bracelet made of LEGAL ivory in the LEGAL Chinese carving market and get “caught” with it in her suitcase when she gets to U.S. Customs. At that point she would be facing as much as FIVE years in prison, and fines & “restitution” that could bankrupt her (literally). All this, even though the ivory SHE had came from the HUNDREDS of TONS of legal “natural death” ivory that falls to the African floor every year.

    That’s right, fellow citizen, a massive amount of ivory falls to the African floor every year, simply because Elephants don’t live forever. The African Elephant has a natural mortality rate of 4% – 7% per year, depending on their location – over the entire African continent it averages 5.5%. That amounts to about 25,500 Elephants that will die every year without a single one being “poached”.
    Since a large percentage of those natural deaths occur among older Elephants the bodies they leave behind will typically bear large tusks, and that “free” ivory does not rot or biodegrade. The estimates among experts in Elephants and the ivory trade put that annual amount of renewable ivory at no less than 100 TONS and as much as 900 TONS. That’s EVERY YEAR.

    If you really care about Elephants there are four VERY important questions you need to ask yourself, your friends, and your government:

    1) Why would the White House and USFWS be pushing a regulation to supposedly PREVENT Elephant deaths, but then sell permits to rich people allowing them to KILL Elephants… AND let them import the ivory back to the U.S.?
    2) With the U.S. deficit at $17.5 Trillion, and growing by $2.75 Billion every day, who will be funding the millions upon millions of dollars need to manage and protect African elephants in African nations so poor they can’t even afford to feed their own children?

    3) What should the world do with the hundreds of tons of ivory that fall to the African floor every year worth hundreds of millions of dollars, since it won’t rot and it doesn’t biodegrade?

    4) Why not use the perpetually renewable resource of natural death ivory to end poaching, fund Elephant protection and conservation, and feed and employ millions of starving Africans?

  2. Rob Snow
    Greece
    February 27, 3:15 am

    When is this going to stop!
    We need to stop being nice to these poachers. Prison is to good for them. Make laws to have equal rights with humans on endangered animals. You murder an elephant you have the death penalty to face.
    Sorry, if this is harsh, but butchering an elephant to make money, in my mind is harsher! I have no respect for these poaching scum!!
    The story made me cry, because the elephant was more noble than the humans that hunted him!!!

  3. Trish
    NJ, USA
    February 23, 1:03 pm

    So sad…a beautiful, intelligent creature killed cruelly for his tusks..This has to stop….So sorry for the bad humans behavior, Torn Ear! RIP

  4. jan pedley
    UNITED KINGDOM
    February 21, 5:10 am

    SO deeply sad by this tragic death. We must do everything within our power to stop this slaughter of elephants and indeed Rhinos. Its tragic to know that unless we do there will be no elephants left in the wild by 2025. That is the saddest thing I can think of my daughters children will never see a wild elephant all because of mans greed!!

  5. art johnson
    california
    February 21, 2:44 am

    humans are despicable horrible lowlife non deserving garbage scum of the earth creatures … the world would be a 10,000 times better place without us

  6. Lori Sirianni
    United States
    February 20, 1:41 am

    A note to Richard Bonham: I am so deeply sorry in my mind, heart and soul for Torn Ear’s murder, Mr. Bonham. We know the hard, nearly impossible job you face trying to protect Torn Ear and his beautiful kind from the ruthless poaching. His loss is not your failure – it is the failure of poachers, smugglers, ivory traders and consumers. They left their humanity behind in the dust.

    Here in North America, we see daily the photos and videos, and read the stories and blogs about the elephant holocaust but as many times as we’re emotionally gutted by it, I can’t imagine how hard it is for all of you on the front lines of this war, witnessing it in person. Thank you for all you do. You can’t be everywhere at once, and if you can’t prevent every death, I think Torn Ear would be grateful to you for mercifully ending his suffering and for bearing witness.

  7. Pat
    Kenya
    February 20, 1:21 am

    Oh no! Not another one. When will humans learn to take care of God’s gifts to us.

  8. Suzan Calvert
    Perth, Australia
    February 19, 8:57 pm

    Heartbreaking. Will it ever come right? The ignorance, cruelty and greed just gets worse and worse. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do. RIP brave boy.

  9. karen
    Mill Valley
    February 19, 4:32 pm

    Maddening to think such a peaceful animal had to leave this earth. I wish there was more we could do. It’s starts here and just being aware. Don’t buy ivory!

  10. Beth
    United States
    February 19, 3:24 pm

    I am so sorry we as humans, let you down big guy! I wish there was MORE I could do.i feel helpless….

  11. Beth
    United States
    February 19, 3:22 pm

    This just makes me want to vomit! I worry that destroying all the ivory will just INCREASE the mass murders that are going on….making ivory MORE scarce, and even more valuable to these idiots.
    I am so very sorry for this beautiful giant…..we as humans, have let him down, again! Wish there was more I could do….I sign every petition that comes across my computer…..I feel helpless.

  12. Brenda Szsz
    Canada
    February 19, 1:27 pm

    I do not know what you are legally required to do with Torn Ear’s tusks – I expect that they have to be kept in case of legal action. But I sincerely wish that we would do memorial services when tusks are destroyed. We are continually smashing ivory – treating it as a commodity – when I see it as the final recognition of lost lives. And surely having people realize that these are individual sentient feeling creatures of great character – not 100 lbs. of ivory – would spread awareness of the terrible loss that is happening. Bless you for all you do – and may God keep everyone safe.

  13. Pam
    La Quinta, CA, USA
    February 19, 11:13 am

    How terribly sad. The penalty for poaching should be very severe. Much more work is needed in countries like China where most of the ivory goes to make items that are sold. The penalties for importing and selling ivory should also be severe and strictly enforced before the planet loses the elephant entirely. Torn Ear’s story makes me heartsick.

  14. swati
    India
    February 19, 7:41 am

    Sad, very sad. I thank God there are people like you too to protect the elephants. God Help you and we are doing our bit too.together we can!

  15. Renee
    Canada
    February 19, 3:42 am

    Oh my goodness! Torn ear looks like such a peaceful elephant and it pains me to see such a docile animal get killed. I hope Torn ear gets to go to heaven… Curse those poachers! May they be punished by the law, and of course, severely! RIP, Torn ear, we will be mourning for you and justice will prevail
    !

  16. Paulette Fay
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    February 19, 12:37 am

    So very sad they are beautiful creTures and so clever wonder what they think of the humans not very much

  17. Neville Burns
    February 18, 10:50 pm

    How truly sad!! Another magnificent animal gone, murdered !
    T^he sickening ivory trade MUST be stopped before all the other elephants join Torn Ear

  18. John Canavan
    Canada
    February 18, 9:33 pm

    The slaughter of Torn Ear and thousands of these peaceful magnificent elephants is a global crisis and countries as well as animal welfare groups are working furiously to stop these unscrupulous poachers who reek destruction on behalf of their heartless profiteering employers. To those who commit these despicable acts let me quot John Paul Jones whose lieutenant recorded his historic words of defiance, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

  19. larry rubin
    USA
    February 18, 6:58 pm

    As with African wildlife or gold or anything else including any country, it is not just the miners, poachers. or buyers it is the middle men who make and control the market and demand and are whom make the most money. And they can most easily wash off any creaulity involved since the blood is not directly on their hands.

  20. john j f
    va
    February 18, 4:28 pm

    It has gotten to the point now that stories of wildlife only depress me. Even when I read articles about positives in the natural world, I think of how temporary the good news is. If the USA was seriously concerned about dealing with the plague of human scum that rape the earth and deny animals of life and habitat, it would pursue these “people” as though there were oil to secured. What good is the most powerful country the world has ever known if it does essentially nothing to help protect creatures that have no voice of their own or hope of avoiding extinction. As long as there is huge $ to be made, and very little being done to prosecute these “people” the wildlife of earth are doomed to live a sorry existence in zoos and hunting preserves or to pass into oblivion.

  21. Real African
    February 18, 6:31 am

    It is very unfortunate as some of our clients were very fond of him after they saw him on several of our Safaris. It is a big blow to them and to us as well.
    http://www.realafricantours.com

  22. Bashiruddin Hosein
    February 17, 11:12 pm

    drastic measures should be adopted… life imprisonment as well as the possibility of the hang man’s noose…examples must be set… or are we to wait until all our animals are extinct?

  23. Wing Kong
    Malaysia
    February 17, 10:04 pm

    Animals extinction are to do with human, so stop killing them before we all regret.

  24. Evgeniy
    February 17, 1:33 pm

    I think poachers are not humans. They have to be punished. And the present day laws in relation to poachers and their actions are not effective.

  25. Desiree
    U.S.A.
    February 17, 9:31 am

    Why are his tusks still in tact in the last picture? Did they chase them away before they could take them? I’m confused…

  26. Real African
    Nairobi
    February 17, 7:59 am

    It is very unfortunate as some of our clients were very fond of him after they saw him on several of our Safaris. It is a big blow to them and to us as well.
    Realafricantours.com

  27. paulm
    sydney
    February 17, 5:20 am

    Islamist extremists are growing in Africa. I can see major military intervention in the future. These extremists use poaching to fund their wars, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, CAR, Libya, Mali. Only when these met with force will poaching decrease. lets hope we can save enough in the mean time.

  28. Lisa Potyok
    Ontario, Canada
    February 17, 5:09 am

    So sad:( RIP Torn Ear!!!
    No longer in pain or suffering you will be greatly missed!
    Hope they do the same to those poachers as they did to you as u are gods gentle giant!
    Our angel xo

  29. Maz
    Australia
    February 17, 4:13 am

    RIP torn ear. Tragic and totally senseless. These beautiful animals are so gentle. May you walk among the fields in heaven.

  30. Marine B
    France, Lyon
    February 17, 4:10 am

    How can people be like that?! How can they do such horrible thing like that? Yesterday the giraffe Marius, today this elephant! We don’t have to loose time anymore! We have to do something for those animals !!

  31. zifeng
    February 17, 4:08 am

    no slae no killing

  32. Cal Childers
    United States
    February 17, 3:46 am

    So what became of his tusks???

  33. Deborah
    Calgary
    February 17, 12:44 am

    So deeply saddened to have read this.

    When is enough, enough?? Perhaps it will only end when there are no more elephants in the wild. Sadly, it may be coming to this.

    I hope the evil seven are caught and meet the swiftest justice that can be thrown at them!

    RIP Torn Ear :-(

  34. Melissa Svarczkopf
    February 16, 10:33 pm

    The senseless death of Torn Ear saddens me beyond words. I pray for the people who continue to work at protecting these beautiful, innocent animals…. RIP Torn Ear…..;(

  35. E.S. BLEULER-BEEGLE
    Denver, Colorado
    February 16, 9:53 pm

    R.I.P. dear Torn Ear, you did not deserve this ending. ♥

    I hope with all my heart that those 7 poachers are caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Humans are not as smart, intelligent, soulful as some other species. I feel elephants have advanced beyond our limits and just don’t understand. We kill out of hate, greed, ignorance, and arrogance. I’m so sorry Torn Ear, Peace be with you and your family……

  36. Victoria Pollock
    Dallas TX
    February 16, 7:18 pm

    travix, Florida u.s.a., February 16, 9:07 am: Many years of experience have shown that dumping illegal ivory on the market results in an increase in elephant poaching. Destroying illegal ivory does not have that evil effect. All legit organizations concerned with ending the slaughter of elephants favor destroying illegal ivory, not putting it on the market. When you see stories of illegal ivory being destroyed, you should be pleased that the jurisdiction behind the destruction is doing the right thing.

  37. Bev Hartland
    Bendigo, Australia
    February 16, 7:06 pm

    I met Torn Ear when I was on a trip through Kenya a couple of years ago. Very gentle and quiet. RIP big boy xx

  38. Cindy
    Sydney, Australia
    February 16, 4:59 pm

    We must save these beautiful animals. There must be harsher penalties to the poachers but even more so to the despicable people who buy the Ivory. They just totally disgust me.

  39. HARIET TUBMAN
    New england states
    February 16, 4:32 pm

    Me: rest in peace
    Hunter: good job fella. You just killed an innocent elephant who was very distinct and dear to people. I will greatly reward you.
    (maybe)

  40. Deniz Atakent
    New Jersey, USA
    February 16, 4:08 pm

    So heart breaking to hear this amazing creature was killed for greed. Elephants possess such beauty and intelligence. I hope these killers will be found swiftly and brought to justice.

  41. Khaled Sulaiman
    Kurdistan-Iraq
    February 16, 3:36 pm

    Quand je parle avec mes deux enfants, l’éléphant est un symbole de notre conversation, mon fils me dis souvent que j’ai la mémoire d’un éléphant. quand j’ai vu ces photos je me sentais tellement triste. quelle cruauté, quelle sauvagerie?

  42. beryl orr
    Arkansas
    February 16, 2:26 pm

    Wrong..wrong, wrong. <My heart aches for all those animals that are killed for the greed that humans kill for. I am 89, and from childhood, I loved the animals of Africa, and detested the hunters that killed for the "sport " of killing. RIP Torn Ear.

  43. mary hodges
    North Carolina
    February 16, 1:34 pm

    GOD has a special place in HELL for people who harm and kill his creatures,GOD LOVES HIS CREATURES,HUMAN AND ANIMAL!!

  44. Maybelle
    Canada
    February 16, 11:56 am

    Elby, poor Torn Ear didn’t die right away. The poisoned arrow didn’t kill him and so he had to be euthanized because he had an untreatable infection. The poachers didn’t get their chance to steal his tusks. That’s why he still has tusks in the picture.

  45. michelle helps
    United Kingdom
    February 16, 11:30 am

    It breaks my heart that elephants, these majestic creatures should be hunted by man. The society on the whole is responsible for buying ivory and thus encouraging poachers to kill. I so hope that it will stop and of course there are not just poachers but also wealthy people , like Spanish King who went elephant hunting last year and many more who so it for sport! It is utterly despicable and it makes me very sad indeed.

  46. Stéphanie Mireault
    Montreal
    February 16, 9:46 am

    Je me sens tellement triste et en colère quand je lis ce genre de nouvelles…C’est tellement cruel ce que ces gens font aux pauvres animaux! Les lois devraient être sévères et punitives pour les braconneurs. Que pouvons-nous faire pour aider et protéger nos animaux de ces gens sans scrupules et sans coeur ?

  47. travix
    Florida u.s.a.
    February 16, 9:07 am

    Horrible!! I just recently saw a story where they burned tons of poached ivory. Why do they burn all this when they could release it into the market dropping the price so I will not be worth it to poachers?

  48. lynn swenson
    Iola, Wisconsin-U.S.A.
    February 16, 9:01 am

    Why don’t they cut their tusks off, then the Ivory poachers would have no reason to poach.

  49. Gayle “alotaboutlivin1989”
    February 16, 8:29 am

    Once again man’s greed for wealth destroys a beautiful creature God had given us… The only way to stop these senseless killings is for man to stop buying the Ivory Tusks and any other part of this beautiful animal.

  50. dominique schot
    netherlands
    February 16, 7:49 am

    somewhere you have to do a campain against the ivory trade in Asia they are the avid buyers of ivory and are the one paying the poachers big money to kill the elephants and you have to inforce stronger laws against the poachers,,PIP Torn Ear

  51. Avee Tsofa-Holmes
    Kenya
    February 16, 7:27 am

    This is extremely Tragic. I’ve heard of “Torn Ear” many times. I think the Sad poem from Ima Ryma.says so much..
    The Angels will take care of You now Gentle Torn Ear.x

  52. Eveline Nünlist
    Switzerland
    February 16, 6:20 am

    How cruel must a humanbeing be to kill a majestic animal like an elephant with an poisonous arrow. What’s the motive of killing animals in such an unfair, cowardly way.It’s hard to keep u human posture against such crime. One almost wishes the poachers a similar punishment. It is a very sad and unbeleivable story.I hope there will be couragous poeple and organisations to do all they can do to stop these crimes.

  53. bharat raithatha
    India(gujarat)dwarka
    February 16, 5:14 am

    Anyone can’t stop himself to condemp this type of bruital task.

  54. Deanne Fabro
    Long Beach, CA
    February 16, 5:07 am

    I feel so sad after reading this article. This loss of this great animal just feels overwhelming.

  55. Gabriele Urban
    australia
    February 16, 4:25 am

    RIP treasured animal…. wishing, hoping, praying, that senseless murder of all animals would stop. The human, the worst animal the heavens ever created, has to be held accountable. We are motivated by utter and total greed. Disgusting……

  56. Elby
    Tampa
    February 16, 4:17 am

    If this animal was killed for its ivory, why does he still have both tusks?

  57. wiseman
    south africa
    February 16, 4:04 am

    I would realy love to help these helpless animals out ther in the wild I thnk the government should take this matter too seriously n make this pouching the number one priority RIP earths ruler!

  58. fredrika
    alaska
    February 16, 3:53 am

    R.i.p. Torn ear,, may you walk amongst the clouds

  59. Linda Taschereau
    USA
    February 15, 4:01 pm

    Tragic , senseless loss . RIP poor guy .If I were nearly starved to death wouldn’t steal anything ! Let alone kill an animal .

  60. margaret ling
    klamath falls oregon
    February 15, 1:40 pm

    saddened with the loss of these beautiful animals

  61. Marion
    London U.K.
    February 15, 11:29 am

    Was praying he would pull through Am so sad and angry run free Torn Ear xx

  62. Ima Ryma
    February 15, 8:09 am

    Torn Ear, an elephant who lost
    A lot of ear in life’s sojourns,
    Torn here and there as Torn Ear crossed
    Kenya, making treks and returns,
    Beating the odds for years and years
    Of victimized by greedy man.
    Hundred pound tusks beneath his ears,
    Being great as elephants can.
    But that fateful day came to be,
    When Torn Ear’s path did cross upon
    The too oft human tendency
    To murder, and Torn Ear was gone.

    Poisoned arrows were shot one day,
    And Torn Ear’s life got torn away.

  63. Teboho Tsotetsi
    Johannesburg SA
    February 14, 11:38 pm

    Its is so painful to learn of such losses about poor animals that this poachers killing everyday for their personal gain. Africans don’t realize how blessed we are to have this animals, they will be wiped off one day that’s when we will realise then we needed them as much they did us. We are poor without this God given animals Big or Small

  64. Nat Turner
    Virginia
    February 14, 11:29 pm

    A sacred, gentle, intelligent animal.
    The elephant’s secret wisdom was known to the ancient Egyptians,
    hence, it’s hieroglyphic sign only twice seen used throughout the land.

  65. amy
    February 14, 5:22 pm

    RIP sweet innocent torn ear