Horrifying footage shows angry villagers hacking an elephant to death in a village in Kenya.

The disturbing footage has been doing the rounds on Twitter and shows a gang of men armed with machetes and axes slashing the injured animal as it drops to the ground.

According to Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS), the barbaric attack happened in June last year in Imeni Forest, near the Meru city in central Kenya. However, the emergence of the video has prompted fresh enquiries from the organisation.

Warning – this video contains extremely distressing scenes of animal cruelty and is not for senstive viewers:

Investigators rushed to the elephant’s aid. However, by the time they had managed the 44-mile journey, it was too late and the animal had sadly passed away.

A spokesperson for KWS confirmed a fresh investigation into the killing has been launched in light of the new video and investigators vow to arrest those responsible.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Kenya Wildlife Service wrote:

The residents came out with pangas, axes and machetes to chase away the elephants. However, the second one fell into a large hole created by the removal of a tree stump, broke its leg and was unable to run away.

Residents managed to catch up with the elephant and hacked it to death.

By the time the Kenya Wildlife Services arrived at the scene, the culprits had escaped.

The graphic footage shows the wounded animal lying on the ground with a huge bloody wound on the back of its right leg and its back is covered in deep knife-like wounds.

The video shows the elephant making desperate attempts to get onto its feet and fend off the remorseless attackers, but moments later it is forced to give up the fight and succumbs to its injuries.

In response to the video, the Kenya Wildlife Service said:

The video clip currently being circulated was not presented at that time, hence follow-up was not conclusive.

However, now that KWS is in possession of the video, the culprits will be pursued and arrested with the help of local authorities.

Elephant hunting has been banned in Kenya since 1973 and poachers face a life sentence and $200,000 fine for killing the beautiful pachyderm.