The Star (Nairobi)

17 December 2012

Kenya: Six Rangers Honoured During Heroes Day

Kenya Wildlife Services yesterday celebrated it's 9th Conservation Heroes Day. The ceremony was graced by the families of six KWS rangers killed by poachers since December last year.

The names of the six were unveiled on the Conservation Heroes Monument at the ceremony presided over by the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife, Noah Wekesa.

For the first time ever, a female ranger, Florence Abae lost her life in the course of duty. Abae was shot by poachers in Tsavo East National Park in March.

Wekesa said immediate action needs to be taken on the increase of poaching in the country. "This problem is not restricted to Kenya, it's global. The scope and brutality of the illegal trade in ivory has been discussed in the US and the UK," said Wekesa.

KWS director William Kiprono said the poaching threat is real and needs concerted efforts from all concerned. "Every single elephant we lose is painful because wildlife is a key pillar to our tourism sector and the national economy," he said.

KWS Board of Trustees chairman David Mwiraria said the forensic laboratory under construction will provide evidence to aid prosecution of wildlife offenders.

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