Thursday, January 10, 2013

Latest cases of poaching have all the hallmarks of an inside job

The illegal trafficking of wildlife now ranks as the third largest crime industry in the world.

Last weekend Kenya awoke to the slaughter of an entire herd of elephants in Tsavo East National Park.

This was just one of the many episodes of poaching witnessed in our national parks; it also paints a gloomy picture of anti-poaching war.

Perhaps the best way to a stop poaching is to build awareness and ultimately enhance wildlife conservation; involve the communities on the importance of wildlife to their lives and the economy.

Kenya has been confronted by a new breed of poachers, highly sophisticated in this vice, and well-financed international crime syndicates that use paramilitary tactics to acquire ivory and rhino horns.

The saddest aspect of it all is that Kenya’s court fines are negligible compared to the commercial stakes.

Wildlife is a precious national heritage that must be protected. Investigations are required to independently establish why the KWS seems to be losing the war to poachers. Could this be an inside job?

We cannot afford to put our wildlife in the hands of a few who are making millions butchering herds at the expense of the over 40 million Kenyans who rely on wildlife to bring foreign exchange and create employment opportunities, especially to the communities that coexist with wild game.

SHADRACK MBAKA,

Nairobi

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