The British army has reportedly launched investigations into the alleged killing of five elephants including a calf in fires started by its soldiers training in Nanyuki, Kenya.
The Daily Mail reports that a fire that broke out on Wednesday jolted the officials into action after four elephants were reportedly killed in the inferno.
The defence 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.
No soldier was hurt during the incident.
All military exercises were reportedly suspended with the army launching an emergency operation to put out the huge blaze that spread quickly at the Lolldaiga training area.
The British daily reports that Kenyan army helicopters were seen pouring hundreds of tons of water on to the blaze. UK military vehicles were on standby to evacuate those living nearby.
The four adult elephants that are feared to have died during the incident were trapped inside an area surrounded by electric fencing, which had been erected to prevent them from wandering into an area where British troops practice warfighting.
The baby elephant is said to have been killed in a separate inferno that broke out in a military training area in Kenya last week.
Sources in the know told the UK publication that in this particular incident Royal Military Police officers set off a flare in a bid to disperse a herd of elephants.
But the flare set light to a bush, trapping a calf.
A social media post by one of the soldiers training in Kenya seemed to confirm the incident.
“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, ” the Snapchat post reads.
The Defence Ministry has also confirmed probing one of the recent fire incidents but declined to comment on the reported deaths of the elephants.
“We can confirm there has been a fire during a UK-led exercise in Kenya and that investigations are ongoing, ” said the Ministry.
‘All personnel have been accounted for and now our priority is to urgently assist the local community if they have been impacted. We are putting our resources into containing the fire and are working closely with the Kenyan authorities to manage the situation. The exercise has been paused while conditions on the ground can be fully assessed.”