10 January 2013

Kenya: Odinga Appeals for International Aid in Fight Against Poachers

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday (January 9th) appealed for international aid to help Kenya deal with an escalating poaching menace, AFP reported.

His appeal comes after a family of 11 elephants was slaughtered in the Tsavo East National Park in south eastern Kenya on Saturday. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya lost approximately 360 elephants last year, an increase from 289 elephants in 2011.

Odinga said tourism, Kenya's most important source of foreign currency, remains under serious assault from poachers. "The danger seems to be worsening with every passing day," Odinga said, adding that Kenyan security agencies must treat poaching as part of the insecurity griping the country and not just a wildlife issue to be addressed solely by the KWS.

Two suspected poachers were killed after engaging police and KWS security officers in a gun battle in the Mulango area between Buffalo Springs National Reserve and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya's The Standard reported Thursday.

Security forces recovered a G3 rifle, 12 rounds of ammunition and several elephant tusks from the suspects, who police said were poaching in the private conservancy and game parks in Isiolo and Samburu counties.

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