11 January 2013

Kenya: Man Arrested Over Tsavo Jumbo Killings

Photo: Kevin Walsh

Kenya Wildlife Service security team in Tsavo has arrested one suspect in relation to the poaching of 12 elephants at Bisadi on Saturday.

The suspect was arrested yesterday at Galalani, Tsavo East and is suspected to be among the gang that poached the elephants. Assistant director Wilson Korir said the suspect was rounded up following intelligence information.

Korir said he could not reveal the name of the suspect because investigations were going on. "We are interrogating the suspect and he is helping us with some crucial information," said Korir. He spoke to The Star on the phone.

He said all the culprits will be brought to book once they are arrested. "The suspects are in hiding but we will arrest them soon since we have gathered information about them," he said.

Korir said possession of illegal fire arms in the country, coupled with unemployment and higher demand for ivory in Asian countries is to blame for the increased poaching. He said demand for ivory in Asian markets is risking the existence of elephants in Kenya.

"More than 7,000 small arms in the country are in wrong hands," said the assistant director. "Youth unemployment is also to blame because many youth have taken to illegal activities like poaching to earn a living."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Raila Odinga appealed for international aid in helping Kenya deal with the escalating poaching. "I appeal to the international community to help strengthen the national and international policing to deal with wildlife trafficking as a serious threat to conservation, rule of law, governance and economic development," a statement from the Prime Minister's office read.

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