NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
wildlife rangers have stepped up anti-poaching
operations across the East African nation with the
arrest of 37 more suspected poachers who are in
statement from KWS issued in Nairobi on Wednesday
said during the raid which was conducted across
the country, 38 kg of ivory, two rifles and 77
rounds of ammunition including game meat weighing
472 kg were recovered in the past one week.
The agency said a
gang of four suspects escaped with injuries following a
gun-fight with KWS rangers in Meru National Park on Nov. 12.
rangers were in patrol when they encountered the gang,
believed to be on a poaching mission in the park, when the
shoot- out ensued,” KWS said in a statement issued in
rifle with 56 rounds of ammunition and three magazines of
assorted rifles were recovered. The suspects are being
pursued in the neighboring villages.”
is continuing despite KWS introducing the Canine Unit with
sniffer dogs on a 24-hour basis at the Jomo Kenyatta in
Nairobi and Moi International Airport in Mombasa to detect
movements of illegal ivory.
The unit has since
2009 netted more than 10 tonnes of raw and worked ivory.
This, according to
the wildlife agency, has effectively led to reduced
smuggling of illegal trophies. Plans are at an advanced
stage by KWS to also introduce sniffer dogs at the Eldoret
International Airport as well as other exit and entry
related to wildlife crime have also been incorporated under
the proposed wildlife law to deter poaching- related cases
and incidents in Kenya.
According to KWS,
four suspected trophy dealers were arrested with 12 pieces
of animal skins at Kitale Township in northwest Kenya on
Nov. 17 after being found in possession of six leopard and
six python skins.
have been preferred against the suspected poachers and
smugglers in various law courts,” it said.
rangers also arrested a suspected poacher and recovered a
rifle with 21 rounds of ammunitions recovered on Nov. 12 in
a village in Nairobi.
suspect escaped arrest when he was intercepted
transporting 280 kg of meat for sale, believed to be of a
snared zebra in Naivasha Township the same day,” KWS said.
The agency said
four suspects were arrested and 38 kg ivory recovered in two
separate crime incidents in Narok County in southwest of
Nairobi. The suspects were arrested in Narok Township and 20
kg of ivory recovered on Nov. 16.
the same County, members of Olposmoru community
surrendered 18 kg of ivory to KWS officials on Nov. 13.The
surrender was a result of an ongoing community outreach
effort by KWS to help in anti-poaching activities in the
area,” it said.
In Laikipia County
of central Kenya, KWS said, three suspects were arrested and
a fake rhino horn recovered on Nov. 13.
suspects were arrested in Taita Taveta County in
connection with the spate of poaching in the neighboring
conservancies adjacent to Tsavo National Park. KWS has
stepped up anti-poaching operations to rein in on the
situation in the area,” it said.
KWS has listed
elephants, lions, wild dogs, leopards, cheetah, hyenas,
Sitatunga, Tana crested mangabey, and Tana red Columbus
monkeys as some of the most endangered wildlife species in
The number of wild
animals in Kenya has reduced drastically, threatening the
existence of one of the country’s major attraction to
tourists, who bring most of foreign exchange, new data
released by the KWS indicates.
One of the most
affected wildlife species is the lion whose number has
reduced by about 1,000 between 2002 and 2008 threatening to
wipe off one of the country’s largest wild cats.
The country had
30,000 lions in the 1960s when it gained independence from
Britain but poaching, drought and human-wildlife conflict
have seen the population drop drastically.
Most of the lions
in Kenya are found in Maasai Mara that host 825 of them
followed by Tsavo National Park with 675 lions, 230 lions in
Laikipia and 40 in Meru National Park with the rest
distributed across the country.
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