21 January 2013

Kenya: One Poacher Killed, Two Captured in Tsavo National Park

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers killed one poacher and captured two others in a shoot-out in Tsavo National Park on Saturday (January 19th), Kenya's The Standard reported.

Following the poaching of a family of eleven elephants in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park on January 5th, Kenyan Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Mbugua says poaching is on the rise, despite the authorities' best efforts to curb it. [AFP] Play Video

The rangers said they recovered a G3 rifle with 11 bullets, a hacksaw and an assortment of other equipment after the incident in the Kalalani area of the Kitui National Reserve.

"We caught up with the gang following a tip-off from the local community," said Tsavo National Park Assistant Director Wilson Korir. "Five other armed gang members, however, escaped but KWS is looking for them."

Korir said they have scaled up surveillance in the park to thwart poaching activities in the area, especially in the wake of the deaths of 11 elephants at the hands of poachers on January 5th. Korir said the work is dangerous, as poachers have killed four rangers in the recent past.

"We have introduced sniffer dogs to supplement the war against poaching activities in the region. We are also sensitising communities bordering parks to give authorities relevant information," he said.

KWS has requested a budget increase from the treasury in order to tackle the poaching threat, said KWS Director William Kiprono.

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