7 April 2013

Kenya to Deploy 1,000 More Rangers to Fight Poaching

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will deploy 1,000 additional rangers to fight poaching, which has killed 74 elephants since the beginning of the year, Kenya's Capital FM reported on Saturday (April 6th).

"KWS is modernising its force with the support of the government," said government spokesman Muthui Kariuki. "We intend to fight poachers at all levels to save our elephants." Kariuki said weak legal penalties for poaching need to be strengthened, calling for parliament to impose stiffer punishments and jail terms.

Last month, a Chinese smuggler caught in Kenya with a haul of ivory was fined less than a dollar for each piece.

On Wednesday, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) seized 1.4 kilograms of worked ivory from three Chinese nationals and a Vietnamese national at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The suspects were transiting through Kenya to various locations. All exit points in Kenya need to be secured, said KRA Senior Deputy Commissioner in charge of communication Kennedy Onyonyi.

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