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Community scout killed and another injured in poaching incident

Date Published: 17 Jan, 2012
Community scout killed and another injured in poaching incident

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) would like to express deep and sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Abdullahi Muhammed and the management of Rukinga Wildlife Works ranch for his death at the hands of poachers near Voi town.
We would also like to wish a speedy recovery to Mr Ijema Funan, who was injured and is under treatment at a Nairobi Hospital from injuries sustained from the same heart-wrenching incident.
We would also like to commend the joint KWS and Rukinga Ranch teams for the bravery and sacrifice in battling the poachers.
A suspect in custody is helping with investigations while Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Police are still pursuing suspects from the incident where a community scout was shot dead and another seriously injured during a shoot-out.
A firearm with two magazines and 61 rounds of ammunition suspected to have been used in the incident recovered.
The death of community game scout and injury of another is a big tragedy to the nation and the general conservation fraternity given that we are still mourning the death of two KWS rangers in Isiolo and Tsavo from poachers towards the end of last moth.
Last Friday at 11.30 am, KWS received information from Rukinga Ranch that gun shots had been heard from within the ranch.
A team of eight KWS security officers immediately sent to the area was joined by eight community scouts from Rukinga Ranch.  After a short while, the joint team came across blood of an injured elephant and human footprints believed to be of poachers.
They followed up the footprints which headed towards Taita ranch and continued with the tracking for about five hours. At around 4pm, the joint security team was suddenly ambushed and two of the scouts injured after a fierce exchange of gun fire. The poachers managed to escape.
On realising that the scouts had been injured, attention was diverted from pursuing the poachers to that of rescue and evacuation.
The injured scouts were evacuated from the scene to a safe ground where they were administered first aid before they were picked and driven to the airstrip where they were flown to Voi for further treatment.
After the rescue and evacuation exercise was completed, follow up of the poachers resumed whereby they were followed by KWS personnel until it was dark. The operation changed to laying of ambushes along possible exit routes.
The following day (Saturday) the suspects’ footprints were followed until they exited from the ranch to the Nairobi Mombasa Highway between Bachuma and Maungu.
KWS intelligence teams got information that led to the arrest of one suspect believed to have been involved in the incident on Sunday, January 15, 2012. Following further investigations, an AK47 rifle with two magazines and 61 rounds of ammunition hidden in Taita Ranch were recovered.  


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