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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Conservationists finish Maasai Mara Grassroots Education walk

NAROK (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s anti-poaching protest team has completed walking more than 260km in an effort to save the elephants in the world-renowned Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

The walk, which has been dubbed Maasai Mara Grassroots Education and Awareness Campaign, has taken 11 days and covered major towns around the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in the country’s southwest.

Jim Nyamu, director at Elephants Neighbours Centre, a wildlife conservation organization, said they have covered 260km in Kenya and beyond to raise awareness about elephant conservation.

He said the main aim of the campaign is to create platform where communities living around the wildlife parks are educated to protect elephants and other endangered species from poachers.

"We were doing education and awareness campaign through walking and talking.

"This grass-root campaign includes holding community meetings along the route and conservation talks in schools and showing conservation films," said Nyamu.

The executive director said the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem has lost many elephants to poachers and they want the trend to be reversed in order the tourism sector.

"Maasai Mara can lose its glory, if the runaway poaching is not brought to end.

"The tourists who have been visiting this country to see animals like elephants might opt to visit other nations, if the species continue to go dwindle," he said.

Nyamu also said they wanted the locals to conversant with the new wildlife law so that they can know that they are entitled to compensation in case of injuries and damages.

Siana Wildlife Trust chairman Sammy Nkoitoi said it’s responsibility of everybody to ensure that the menace is brought to end because it is now threatening the tourism revenue.

He said that poaching for elephant tusks in the Mara-Serengeti region in the recent past across the border was on the increase and there was need to take quick and decisive measures to curb the poaching that is geared towards reducing the animal population.

"The upsurge of poaching can be blamed on the increase demand of ivory and other wild animal’s products in Asia and some countries in Southern Africa.

These nations should come together and start fighting the poaching menace," he said.

           

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