By Kipchumba Kemei
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has deployed additional anti poaching squad to a forest bordering Maasai Mara National Reserve to hunt for marauding poachers who are responsible for killings of 11 elephants less than two months.
On Friday, the service personnel in conjunction with rangers and officials from the Mara Conservancy and those from The Mara Elephant Project who were on a mission to track down the poachers stumbled on six carcasses of the wild animals whose tusks had been removed at Nyakweri forest in Transmara district.
“The hunt for the armed poachers has been given a new lease of life after additional officers from the anti poaching squad joined other teams that have been on the ground since last Friday. The operation will go on until areas bordering the National Reserve are free of poachers,” said William Kiptoo, the Transmara KWS Senior Warden.
The squad which was recently formed to combat the menace arrived armed with modern weaponry, General Packet Radios (GPRS), cameras, binoculars among other gear. In a period of less than three weeks, according to the service statistics, nine elephants have either been shot dead by rifles or poisoned spears and their tusks plucked out inside the forest that borders several lodges and camps along the Siria Escarpment.
Kiptoo who is leading the operation added that about 40 elephants inhabiting the forest, about 15km from the reserve were at risk of being killed by poachers, saying plans were underway to turn Nyakweri a forest reserve under Narok County government to save the elephants and other wild animals. More....