Friday, May 3, 2013

Poaching in Mara surges as 14 elephants killed

Elephant tusks under the watch of KWS guards. Fourteen elephants have been killed and their tusks pulled out in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in the last six months as poaching escalates.. Photo/FILE

Elephant tusks under the watch of KWS guards. Fourteen elephants have been killed and their tusks pulled out in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in the last six months as poaching escalates.. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

Fourteen elephants have been killed and their tusks pulled out in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in the last six months as poaching escalates.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers are investigating, two elephants that were found dead after being shot with poisoned arrows at Oloseki in Siana East Conservancy, about 40kms from the Kenya-Tanzania border.

Narok CID boss Peter Ndumbi said 68 elephants had been killed in the last two-and-half years in the Mara ecosystem.

Conservationists in the famous reserve say if poaching is not eliminated, it would end up hurting tourism, which earned Narok and Trans Mara County Councils about Sh3 billion annually in tariffs and fees.

“If this is not fixed, poaching in the Mara can kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. We ask for vigilance from the police and the local people to eliminate the crime,” said Sammy Nkoitoi, the chairman of Siana Wildlife Conservancy.

Mr Nkoitoi said the poachers who killed the two elephants could be the same ones who attacked 15 others in the larger Siana Group Ranch in less than a year.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers also gunned down two suspected poachers at Entasekera area, a few kilometres from Tanzania two months ago.

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