The Star (Nairobi)

25 April 2012

Kenya: KWS Moves Animals From Proposed ICT City in Konza

Kenya Wildlife Service has driven out various species of wild animals from the proposed ICT city in Konza. The 5,000 acres comprising the Konza Techno-City was fenced off in January using heavy duty chainlink, trapping herds of wildebeest, zebras, elands, hartebeest, gazelles and jackals.

With only two small openings on the southern and the western side, wildlife within the fenced area was solely reliant on water being ferried to them from concerned citizens and KWS. "Konza City is a great idea, in the wrong place," said KWS director Julius Kipn'getich.

On January 31, KWS, with the help of Action for Cheetah Kenya, Athi Kapiti Cheetah Project and FoNNaP Lion Community Project did a census of animals within the ICT, yielding 834 animals trapped inside with limited water. Wildlife had also been frightened by vehicles driving close to the area. Concerned individuals assisted by collecting empty plastic water bottles to hang along the fence line, and create a 'warning system' for the wildlife.

On the April 19, KWS moved in with a chopper and after six hours of flying and teams on the ground, about 250 kongonis, 200 wildebeest, 150 zebras and 100 gazelles were moved out of the fenced area into the surrounding plains.

More than 200 gazelles, about 10 ostriches, 10 kongonis and about 7 wildebeests are still within the fenced area. Plans are underway to capture all these animals when the wet area dries up. They are to be to be translocated to Nairobi National Park.

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