6 February 2013

Kenya: Police, Tourism Industry Raise Concern Over Poaching

Photo: Aliou Goloko/AllAfrica
Players in the tourism sector have urged the government to cut ties with countries trading in ivory (file photo).

POLICE and tourism industry have raised concern over an upsurge of poaching of Giraffes and zebras in Narok County following diminishing meat market in the country.

They said the cases of poaching have increased in the last four years with the killing of giraffes and Zebras for meat getting national attention second to Elephant poaching.

Their concerns come after 6,000 kilograms of game meat was intercepted by traffic police in Narok last week.

Two traffic officers led by Corporal David Chumo and Constable Nicholas Musango who intercepted the meat at Siyiabei along the busy Narok-Nairobi highway, turned down a Sh60, 000 bribe from the merchants arresting the driver of the nissan matatu with two of his accomplices escaping.

Yesterday, Narok police boss Peterson Maelo said investigation reports have revealed that poachers are crafting new ways of trafficking game meat and wildlife.

"They include packaging meat in gunny bags and brand them as containing cereals, foodstuffs, or Mutumba clothes and starching them in car boots after ferrying them from the scenes with motorcycles," said Maelo.

Kenya Tour drivers and Guides Operators Vice-Chairman Andrew Mungatana said the move could impact negatively on their business as Kenya is widely sold as a wildlife destination internationally.

Mungatana wants a new wildlife bill to be drafted and the government to take major steps to address the poaching menace.

"Poaching is now a serious threat to the survival of wildlife. If not checked, it will kill the multi-billion tourism industry," said Mungatana.

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