At least 24 elephants have been killed by poachers in the Tsavo conservation area in three months, the Kenya Wildlife Service has said.
According to Julius Kimani, a KWS official, poachers killed a family of 12 elephants on January 5 in the North of Tsavo East national park.
He said poachers recently killed another 12 elephants within the area.
“As we talk now, a total of 24 elephants have been killed by poachers in the Tsavo conservation area which include Kyulu and Kitui South national reserve,” he said.
The KWS official said about 70 per cent of the recent elephant killings occurred in the Taita ranches which are privately owned.
The Tsavo conservation area comprises Tsavo East and West national parks, 27 Taita-Taveta county ranches, Kyulu and Kitui South national reserve.
Mr Kimani said KWS faces a daunting task in capturing the poachers since they masquerade as herders.
KWS has now directed livestock owners in the ranches to give lists of the names of their herdsmen.
“When we get the lists of all the herdsmen working in the ranches it will be easy for us to arrest the poachers as those we arrest must give us their identification cards,” he said.
“We are soon meeting the ranch owners and the livestock owners so that we can join efforts in combating the poaching menace,” he said.
Tourism stakeholders also expressed concern over the rise in illegal game meat trade in areas bordering the parks and game reserves.
Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) Coast branch chairperson Monika Solanki has called on the government to intervene saying it will interfere with tourism.
“Most of the tourists who visit Kenya come here to watch the wildlife roaming their natural habitat,” she said.
“If the killing of these beautiful creatures is not contained it will cause devastating effects to tourism sector,” she warned.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke