Kenya's wildlife authorities have suspended two top officials in the midst of investigations into rampant poaching that has decimated elephant herds and other wild animals, officials said.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement that the officials were ordered "to take leave to facilitate internal investigations into the wildlife security situation".
Poaching has spiked recently in East Africa, with whole herds of elephants massacred for their ivory.
"The suspensions had to be done to pave way for investigations ... we are waiting for the final report," KWS spokesman Paul Mbugua told AFP.
He stressed that no charges have been brought against the officials, Peter Leitoro, the deputy director of security, and Benjamin Kavu, deputy director of wildlife and community.
Last month officials in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa seized more than two tonnes of ivory, which had reportedly come from Tanzania and was destined for Indonesia.
Last year poachers killed at least 360 elephants in Kenya, up from 289 in 2011, according to official figures.
At least 40 poachers were killed last year as rangers battled the raiders.
The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicine. More....