By Kurgat Marindany
At least six elephants have been killed by poachers in three community conservancies in Kajiado West constituency in less than two months.
Residents are now appealing to Kenya Wildlife Service to increase surveillance in Loita, Olkiramatian and Shompole where poachers are targeting.
The Olkiramatian Conservation Project secretary, Joseph Sirai, told the Star that he counted six elephant carcasses in Loita conservancy alone that had no tusks.
He said the poachers are now using poisoned arrows rather than guns which are killing a mature elephant in less than five seconds. He said when the poisoned arrows make an elephant rot in less than two minutes and makes it easy for the tusks to be hacked off.
“This is a new tactic that is very dangerous. The arrows do not make any noise like guns,” Sirai said. KWS spokesman Paul Mbugua said there is an upsurge of poaching in Loita. He said many poachers come from Tanzania.
“We are aware of the poaching and have increased the number of rangers. The challenge however is arresting the suspects as they flee to Tanzania and it is difficult for us to trace them,” he said. Mbugua said poachers are a threat to tourism. “Sampu and Shompole lodges are likely to close down if the number of the visitors goes down.”