NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to lobby African states to enhance
their elephant protection measures in order to protect the
mammals from becoming extinct, a government official said on
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife,
told journalists in Nairobi that some Southern African countries
currently permit domestic trade in ivory products and this could
complicate efforts to save the African elephant.
“So far over 30
countries in the elephant range states in central and West
Africa are supporting Kenya’s efforts to ensure all elephants
are accorded the highest level of protection,” Mwakima said
during a campaign walk.
Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa have their elephant
populations listed in Appendix two of the Convention on
International Trade on Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) which means they are allowed to trade ivory while
elephants from the rest of Africa are listed in Appendix one
which restrict trade in ivory.
Mwakima said that
the listing in two categories of African elephants endangers the
elephant populations in the entire continent.
She said that most
African states have agreed to lobby for the inclusion of all
elephants in Appendix one during the next CITES meeting that
will take place in May 2019 in Sri Lanka.
official said that Africa has an opportunity to save its
elephant population now that China has closed its legal market
for ivory trade.
Mwakima noted that
the government remains committed to saving African elephant and
all endangered species through the implementation of a clear
framework as spelt out in the National Wildlife Strategy 2030.
Jim Nyamu, the
Executive Director of the Elephant Neighbors Center, said that
he is walking 4,500 kilometers through six countries that are
elephant rangelands in order to raise awareness of illegal
poaching of elephants in the continent.
He said that absence
of sufficient integration of policies in Africa against crimes
of poaching in order to protect cross-border wildlife reserves
and parks has created loopholes for trophy hunters to continue
their illegal activities.
Nyamu said that the
existence of two categories for elephant protection serves as an
incentive for poaching in Africa.
Kenya invites more foreign
experts to probe black rhino deaths
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Tuesday called in more foreign experts
to probe the deaths of nine black rhinos at the Tsavo East
National Park in the southwestern part of the country.
cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told
journalists in Nairobi that the government has decided to have
through investigations into the matter carried out by an
external and independent team in order to obtain credible
“A team of experts
from the United Kingdom and South Africa will augment existing
human capacity to ensure Kenya comes up with a comprehensive
report on the cause of death of the black rhinos by next week,”
He has directed that
the 18 rhino horns with transmitters and chips from the dead
rhinos to be secured to avoid illegal trade.
Balala said the
first animal died on July 3 and currently only two female black
rhinos have survived the translocation exercise.
According to a
preliminary report by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the
translocated rhinos died after consuming water from a borehole
that had high levels of saline.
KWS Acting Director
General Julius Kimani said that the National Environment
Management Authority (NEMA) had given approval for the
translocation procedure last year.
weather conditions such as drought and floods caused a delay in
the movement of the black rhinos,” he said.
The KWS said a
sample of the special food that was consumed by the black rhinos
is currently being analyzed by government chemists to rule out
the possibility of food poisoning.
He noted that
another possible cause of death is the side effects of the
veterinary medicine that was given to the endangered species
during the translocation.
The ministry of
tourism has also not ruled out the possibility of heat stroke as
behind the death of the black rhinos.
The KWS has since
banned the translocation of rhinos indefinitely as the
government determines the cause of the deaths.