The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: KWS Rangers Kill Suspected Poacher in Tsavo

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers in Tsavo have killed one suspected poacher and recovered six elephant tusks and fire arms at a ranch in Taita Taveta County.

KWS director William Kiprono warned poaching syndicates that their days are numbered and assured the public that the government had put all security agencies on red alert over the poaching. The KWS Director described poaching as an assault against Kenya's national heritage.

"We are ready to fight poachers at all costs.The items recovered is in an armory in the hands of civilians and weapons of mass destruction," he said.

Kiprono linked the increased poaching to criminals disguising themselves among herders in Taita Ranches and increased demand for ivory in Asian countries.

"Poachers are now stockpiling ivory for speculative purposes ahead of the CITES meeting in March in Bangkok.Incredible demand for ivory in some Asian countries is also putting pressure on elephant population in Kenya," he said.

He called on owners of private ranches in Taita Taveta bordering the Tsavo park to vet all herders and report suspected criminals to security agencies.

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