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Suspected poacher shot at Lake Nakuru National Park
Date Published: 19 Mar, 2014
A suspected poacher was on Monday March 18, 2014 at 1.45 am shot dead in Lake Nakuru National Park while two of his accomplices escaped.The body was taken to the mortuary in Nakuru and assorted weapons, including a bow, four poisoned arrows, spear and food, taken by police. Kenya Wildlife Service acting Director General Mr William Kiprono flew to the scene of crime in Lake Nakuru National Park where he addressed journalists and KWS staff. He was accompanied by Mr Francis Kirathe, County AP Commander, Mr Mohammed Birik the County Commissioner and Mr Mbogo County CID boss.
Mr Kiprono noted that Lake Nakuru was one of the most hit by poaching of rhinos, having lost four since the beginning of the year.Vigilant KWS rangers responded swiftly and recovered horns from three of them while poachers took away one horn.
At national level, 16 rhinos have been lost, with 13 killed by poachers and three due to natural causes. Last year, Kenya lost a total of 59 rhinos.
Thirty elephants have been poached since January this year compared 302 elephants in the whole of last year (2013). These statistics point to an emerging appetite of rhinos horns for an estimated population of 1,036 in the country. However, there is a decline of elephant poaching numbers from 384 in 2012 to 302 elephants in 2013.
KWS has laid out strategies to counter the runaway poaching for these species and general protection of all wildlife landscapes. KWS has created and equipped a Rapid Deployment Unit to provide support to ranger teams in areas thought to be highly vulnerable including conservancies that host endangered species. This team will join the inter-agency anti-poaching crack unit that was deployed in Narok, Tsavo and Isiolo.
KWS is continuing to build capacity of rangers to address emerging poaching methods. The training academy in Manyani has developed relevant curriculum in relation to emerging challenges.
KWS has heightened collaboration with other law enforcement agencies in the country and beyond as well as more robust intelligence gathering. The collaboration includes follow-ups on suspected poaching gangs, surveillance in all port of entry and exits and overt operations in wildlife areas. It has also roped in the Judiciary and the Office of Director of Public Prosecution in view of securing convictions for arrested perpetrators of wildlife crimes.
KWS partnership with communities living in wildlife-inhabited areas has enabled the organisation to foil numerous poaching incidents at the planning stage as members of the public volunteered information.
In retrospect, in cases where poachers committed crime, prompt and sustained follow-ups were undertaken leading to arrest of 1,549 offenders last year. KWS law enforcement units were involved in active operations that led to active engagements with poachers leading to recovery of 68 fire arms and 2,630 rounds of ammunitions.
KWS also recovered 13.5 tonnes of contraband ivory at the port of Mombasa and 10,106kg of bush meat last year. Majority of these smuggled contraband ivory had entered Kenya from neighbouring countries.There has been a decline in the desire by smugglers to use Kenyan ports to smuggle contraband ivory since we heightened surveillance there.
The new Wildlife Act, 2013.
The enactment of a new law heralds a new beginning on addressing threats to wildlife conservation and institutionalising efficient management of wildlife and seeks to secure, in law, communities benefits. This has given Kenya the toughest wildlife law in Africa. KWS will leverage on the law to safeguard wildlife.