Conservationists have warned that Kenya may lose all elephants
to poachers in the next 10 years if penalties against poachers
and traffickers are not increased.
Wildlife Direct Director
Dr. Paula Kahumbu on Tuesday evening told journalists in Nairobi
that the sentence given to those found guilty is lenient hence
more deaths of elephants.
judiciary must be ready to sentence offenders heavily to
help stop the trafficking of ivory in Africa,” she observed
during a talk at the National Museums of Kenya.
Kahumbu noted that her
organization is engaging the judiciary in awareness creation
after it emerged that many magistrates and prosecutors do not
know the importance of wildlife, hence the light sentence
against perpetrators as opposed to what other countries are
She noted that the
current sentence of 10 years and a fine of 470 U.S. dollars is
only helping traffickers go scot free since their agents are
capable of paying the fine.
She suggested that all
traffickers be given life imprisonment and a fine of no less
than 235,000 dollars to help stop the cartels from destroying
the wonders of nature.
Kahumbu revealed that a
study that was done by her organization this year in 15 courts
in the country, found out that 2,000 people are arrested every
year with offenses on poaching and trafficking but only 10
percent are taken to court.
He said that 52 percent
of them plead guilty with only 5 percent sentenced to jail as
the remaining 95 percent are fined and set free.
fines are small and therefore makes the cases look like
cover up by the court system since sometimes, the files
disappear and never to be seen again,” she added.
Kahumbu noted that Kenya
that is currently number two in the world for trafficking ivory
is being used as a highway by traffickers who sell ivory in
Europe and Asia.
She observed that the
ivory trade is an organized international crime that is
equivalent to the blood diamond trade in Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) and is used to cause chaos in Africa.
She called on Kenyans to
change their attitude towards wildlife conservation and embrace
eco–tourism as a way of earning a living.
are part of climate change adaptation process as they help
keep the habitat open, dig water by their trunks and people
end up using the same water ponds,” she noted.
She challenged other
African governments to emulate Tanzania and Botswana that have
placed heavy punishment and also banned trafficking of ivory in
their countries and to support the global ban of ivory trade.
NMK Director of Research
Geoffrey Mwachalla called for the retraining and equipping of
the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers to help control the
He noted that officials
found colluding with offenders should also be heavily punished
to help reduce trafficking and poaching.
Conservationists Decry Elephant Poaching In Northern Kenya
ISIOLO, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
conservancy has raised concern over elephant poaching in
northern Kenya and called for proper coordination among
stakeholders to reduce case of poaching in the region.
Northern Range Land
Trust (NRT) said poaching is particularly rampant in Isiolo and
Samburu region, and urged relevant authorities to combat the
The project’s chief
manager Tom Lalampa said on Wednesday that the region lost 134
elephants last year alone, while in 2011, 101 elephants were
killed and in 2010, 63 elephants were wiped out as result of
poaching in northern Kenya.
are worried with the current trend of poaching in the region
because some time poachers penetrate into protected areas
and kill the wild animals,” Lalampa told Xinhua in Isiolo.
Lalampa said the
organization has partnered with mobile firm Safaricom to track
the suspected poachers in order to reduce the cases of wildlife
killings in the area.
He raised concern that
poaching has been complex and increasing day by day in the
region with use of sophisticated equipment which makes it hard
to curb the practice.
The conservation group
has created several conservancies in northern Kenya where they
recruited rangers and provided land cruisers to step up the
fight against poaching in the vast and remote locations in
commissioner Wanyama Musiambo warned that the government will
put in place stringent security measures to avert elephant
killings in the area.
Wanyama warned that the
poachers must know that their days are numbered with
coordination of two security teams from the region.
want to assure our partners and the donors that we are going
to put in place all the necessary measures to ensure that
those behind the killings were arrested and prosecuted,”
According to the
recently released elephants statistics in the area, the number
of elephants has reduced from 7,415 in 2008 census to 6,361 in
the 2012 census while that of grevy zebra had also gone down
from 2,400 in 2008 to 1870 in 2012 aerial count.
The Kenya Wildlife
Services (KWS) attributed the sudden fall of the figure to
increased poaching due to high market demand for ivory, drought,
climate change and lack of pumps and signs along Isiolo-Moyale
highway where several zebras were killed.
will not accept to supervise as director where animals were
killed in masses, I rather resign and watch from outside,”
KWS director William Kiprono said.
He said the KWS will
modernize its service to control the menace to zero percent
tolerance to poaching and spread officers all over the vast
areas to combat the challenges.
Kiprono said the role to
protect wildlife should not be left to KWS alone but other
security agents, community and partners must take responsibility
in safeguarding and protecting the animals.
want everybody to stand up for this, because the world
should not keep quiet while consumers have gone to the next
level, “ said the director.
Tanzania’s National Park Threatened By Human Settlements
ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- The Arusha National
Park is threatened to turn into a zoo as the wild animals’ home
has been surrounded by human settlements, an expert said on
James Wakibara, Chief
Ecologist with the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), warned that
if the trend is left unchecked, the park will become a history
of the past.
animals, and even humans, must move from one place to
another at times, while this is important for grazing, it
plays a major role when it comes to mating and breeding,”
the ecologist said when speaking at the Regional
Consultative Committee meeting to address the threats which
Arusha National Park is facing.
Wakibara noted that
human beings have blocked all passages, causing the wildlife in
Arusha National Park to be tightly confined within the small
The ecologist warned
that since the animals cannot move from the park into other
area, they face the danger of inbreeding which means animals
have to mate and reproduce among own flock, making them
susceptible to diseases, albinism and other forms of nature
corridors used to connect Arusha National Park with West
Kilimanjaro wilderness in the leeward of the continent’s highest
mountain, as well as Amboseli National Park just across the
border into Kenya, but all these passages have been blocked by
Located few kilometers
from Arusha, Tanzania’s northern safari capital, Arusha National
Park is a home to giraffe, buffalo, zebra, warthog, the
black-and-white Colobus monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo and
large python. African elephants as well as leopards are present,
but rarely seen and lions have disappeared from the park.
The park attracts to
more than 120,000 tourists every year, who go there for wildlife
viewing, game driving, walking safaris, canoeing as well as