The British Army has launched an investigation after five elephants were reported to have been killed in fires ignited by UK soldiers who were training in Laikipia County in Kenya.
The British High Commission in Kenya confirmed the investigation in a tweet on Friday as the fierce fires continued to consume more than 8,000 acres of the Lolldaiga training area.
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. @BATUKOfficial— UK in Kenya ???????????????? (@UKinKenya) March 26, 2021
Lolldaiga, Laikipia fire. PHOTO/COURTESY
British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) said all military training exercises had been suspended to allow for emergency efforts to put out the fast spreading bush fire.
UK and Kenyan authorities working flat out to contain the fire; 350 UK and Kenyan soldiers have been deployed to fight the fire, 4 helicopters and 4 water tanks continue to be utilized as well. Thank you for your continued support. Will keep you updated. pic.twitter.com/NQfX8LdR3M— BATUK (@BATUKOfficial) March 26, 2021
The High Commission said 350 troops, 3 choppers, a crop-sprayer aircraft and 4 water tanker trucks have been deployed to fight the fire that was still raging Friday evening.
Kenyan and UK soldiers at the scene. PHOTO/COURTESY
The British Army is also investigating some of its soldiers who posted about the fire incident on social media, with one seemingly making light of the situation.
1/2 Loldaiga fire update:— UK in Kenya ???????????????? (@UKinKenya) March 26, 2021
The welfare of the local community and wildlife is of the utmost concern to us. Reports of dead elephants are being looked into urgently.
We are extremely concerned by a social media post by a member of the British Army and it is being investigated.