The Star (Nairobi)

21 June 2012

Kenya: KWS Must Declare State of Emergency

The police and Kenya Wildlife Service officers have launched a manhunt for suspects believed to have killed six lions Wednesday morning in ... ( Resource: Kenya: Maasai Herdsmen Kill Six Lions

editorial

FOUR lionesses and two cubs were speared to death in Kitengela yesterday in the presence of three Kenya Wildlife Service warders. The lions had strayed from the Nairobi National Park and killed 13 sheep and goats.

The KWS warders called for vets to dart the lions and take them back into the park but the elders refused to wait. They claimed that KWS had not been paying them the agreed Sh15,000 per goat and Sh50,000 per cow when they are killed by lions.

Yet the Maasai are also at fault. They have been regularly going into the park to graze their cattle illegally. This is a conservation disaster. There are barely 2,000 lions left in Kenya. Tourism is still the country's biggest forex earner and all tourists want to see the Big Five - lions, buffalo, rhino, elephant and leopard. Very soon there may be no lions left.

To make matters worse, elephant and rhino poaching is running out of control. Every day there are reports of poached elephants across Kenya. KWS needs to declare a state of emergency. The killing of wildlife cannot be allowed like this. It threatens the whole future of conservation and tourism in Kenya.

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