By George Satagie
Poachers have killed 10 elephants in Transmara County in the past five months.
The region’s warden William Kiptoo said most of the elephants were killed in Kiminted, Oloirien and Moyoi locations that neighbour the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Out of the 10 elephants killed, seven had their tusks removed. The other three had their tusks as poachers realised they had electronic tags.
Mr Kiptoo announced that they had intensified security operations in the affected area.
Narok County Chief Warden, Mr Bernard Koruta said plans are underway to carry out a census to establish the population of elephants in Maasai Mara Game Reserve this year due to increased cases of poaching.
Speaking at KWS Ewaso Ngiro regional headquarters, Mr Koruta said the 2009 census established that there were 3,070 Jumbos in Mara and Serengeti National parks in Tanzania.
At least 200 elephants have been killed by poachers in various parts of the country in the recent past.
Reports by KWS indicate there is an urgent need to protect jumbos since in the early 1970s, the elephant population stood at an estimated 167,000, but in just five decades, the number has plummeted to slightly more than 35,000.
Mr Kiptoo expressed optimism that the enforcement of the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Authority Act would curb poaching.
Poachers killing elephants in Mara reportedly sneak through the porous border points to the neighbouring country of Tanzania.
“We have also been working closely with our counterparts from Tanzania especially from Serengeti National Park to trail some of the poachers who cross over to either side after accomplishing their heinous acts,” said Mr Kiptoo.