7 August 2013

Kenya: Five Found Killing Zebra

KENYA Wildlife Service rangers have arrested five suspected poachers after they were found killing zebras at Endonyo Rasha in Narok county yesterday.

Narok KWS senior warden Bernard Koruta said two suspects fled when they saw the rangers. Koruta said they were acting on a tipoff from residents.

"Officers found the poachers slaughtering one zebra. One of them tried to take away a pistol from a ranger but was overpowered," said Koruta.

An officer was injured and taken to Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet. Koruta said poachers are using motorbikes to chase the animals.

He also noted the game meat is mostly taken to Naivasha and at Bama market in Nairobi. The KWS officer thanked the locals for volunteering information adding that this will help to fight poaching in the area.

This comes at a time when players in the 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.

Recently, two traffic officers from Narok intercepted the largest game meat of 6,000 kilograms of giraffe. Corporal David Chumo and Constable Nicholas Musango turned down a Sh60, 000 bribes from the merchants and arrested a suspected poacher with two of his accomplices escaping.

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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