NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya's wildlife authority says it needs help to curb the escalation of killings of the endangered elephants and rhinos for ivory tusks and horns.
Kenya Wildlife Service chief William Kiprono said Tuesday that poachers have killed 18 rhinos and 51 elephants so far this year.
Kiprono denied that a poaching cartel exists within the organization and that steps are being taken to ensure that none of its employees engage in poaching.
Kiprono said that since 2009, 17 wildlife service employees had been fired and some prosecuted, three had been demoted and five others fined. He said 26 were investigated but no evidence found.
Last week Richard Leakey, famed scientist and founding head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, alleged the service had been infiltrated by powerful people enriching themselves from poaching.