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KWS ranger injured in Tsavo attack airlifted to Nairobi for treatment
Date Published: 07 Dec, 2012
A Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) ranger was Wednesday (December 5, 2012) airlifted for treatment following injuries he sustained from a shootout with suspected poachers in Taita Taveta County.
Ranger Moses Lesambeki sustained injuries in the leg while in the company of rangers patrolling Mbale Ranch in Taita Taveta County. They had encountered poachers slaughtering elephants in the vast ranch early Wednesday morning. He was evacuated for specialized treatment in Nairobi County.
The number of the poaching gang was not immediately established but initial reports indicate that a gang of two opened fire injuring the ranger before fleeing towards Kuranze ranch. Nine elephants were later confirmed killed and six pieces of ivory has since been recovered hidden in the bush within the ranch. The gang is being pursued in the adjacent areas by a strong team of foot, canine and aerial units.
While visiting the patient at the hospital, KWS director Mr. William Kiprono has applauded KWS rangers putting their life on line to protect wildlife. “I take pride in our rangers who are even taking the bullet to save wildlife from threat of poaching,” he said. “We assure the people of Kenya that the resources we take care of will remain safe to eternity.”
Hospital Director of nursing Ruth Were says that Ranger Lesambeki is in stable condition and will be discharged in a few days.
Mr Kiprono accompanied by Deputy Director Ben Kavu, acting head human capital Valentine Kanani and other senior KWS official wished Ranger Lesambeki a quick recovery.
On December 16, 2012, KWS will be celebrating conservation heroes’ day to honour rangers who has been killed in the line of duty. A monument and a ranger statue has been put up and unveiled at its headquarters, Nairobi, to commemorate lives of rangers killed over the years and what they stood for.