Police in Laikipia County are holding the owner of two camels whose carcasses were poisoned leading to the death of 18 vultures.
The two camels had gone missing from a boma in Laikipia North before they were preyed on by a lion.
In a retaliation, the owner is suspected to have poisoned the animals’ carcasses, leading to the death of the vultures.
Two jackals, one hooded vulture, seven Ruppell’s Griffon Vultures, and 11 Tawny Eagles -- all endangered species -- died due to the poisoning attack after they fed on the carcasses on Tuesday.
“The owners of the camels is being held after he was successfully traced to his home. The foot marks of the camels were also identified in the vicinity,” said a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officer.
On Tuesday, KWS communications manager Paul Udoto said that samples from the vultures have been taken to the government chemist for analysis.
He said KWS working with the local administrators and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to determine the source of the poison and the culprits.
"KWS is investigating circumstances under which the vulture died. Preliminary investigations have found that the vultures could have died after eating the camel carcasses that had been poisoned by locals to kill a lion that was killing their livestock,” said Mr Udoto in a statement.
The vulture carcasses, he noted, were disposed of to prevent more deaths.
Conservationists in the county have since raised alarm over poisoning of endangered animals in the region.
While stressing on the need to help various communities living in the county understand the risks of retaliatory poisoning, conservationists and various groups on Wednesday said there was a need to help communities mitigate human-wildlife conflict.