13 November 2012

Kenya: 100 Cows Hurt as KWS Scares Them Off Park

LEADERS of Loitokitok have criticised the use of helicopters to drive out their livestock from the Tsavo West National Park leaving more than 100 cows with broken limbs.

Kenya Wildlife Service drove out the animals at the weekend following the encroachment by herders on the park in search of pastures for their animals. Kuku Group Ranch and the neighbouring Rombo have been hit a drought.

Preaching at Olorika Kenya Assemblies of God Church in Kuku Group Ranch in Loitoktok on Sunday afternoon, Rev Daniel Partimo accused KWS of "manhandling" herders and maiming their livestock.

Three herders were arrested but released on Sunday. Speaking after the church service, wildlife conservationist and Kajiado governor David Nkedianye appealed to KWS to strike a deal with the pastoralists.

However, KWS spokesman Paul Mbugua yesterday said the pastoralists had been warned against herding their livestock into the park.

"We have always used helicopters to drive out elephants from their farms and in such occasions cows always do run away. We have always told them to keep off the park for their own safety," he said.

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