NAKURU (Xinhua) -- Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers on Tuesday killed a suspected poacher and discovered four poisoned arrows, a spear and food items at the Lake Nakuru National Park.
The Park’s Senior Warden Adan Kala said two of the suspects managed to escape during the shootout at 1: 40 a.m. which involved a team of rangers.
“The team of rangers was on patrol when they sighted a group of three people moving on foot along a popular animal track and trailed them. They managed to shoot one dead while the other two fled towards the densely forested section within the park,” Kala said.
“We have sealed off the entire park and are now using a sniffer dog to search for the suspected poachers,” Kala added. He noted that the suspects had stopped on spotting a rhino under a tree when the rangers opened fire killing one of them.
The senior warden said the use of poisoned arrows by the poachers was new deployed tactics to avoid rangers from detecting their movements and admitted this could complicate the fight against poaching.
“This is a clear indication that those behind the illegal business are ready to fight to bitter end, use of arrows away from the guns shows how poachers are determined to carry on,” he said.
The killing of the suspected poacher comes after KWS management reshuffled staff at Lake Nakuru National Park days after rhinos were killed in broad daylight and their pricy horns taken away by poachers.
The killing of tens of rhinos in the park has sparked outcry from wildlife conservationists since the Park is one of the highly guarded areas in the country, yet most killings have been done in broad daylight.
Kala warned that tough action had been taken to safeguard rhinos against poachers saying a round the clock surveillance would be carried out all the time with coordinated intelligence activities being carried out around the park.
“Rhinos are our flagship brand for this park since flamingoes have shifted to other parks due to reduced forage and tourists are now flocking to our park due to abundance of rhinos,” he said.
Rhinos have come under incredible pressure due to rising demand for its horns some Asian countries.
Since the beginning of this year, Kenya lost more than 15 rhinos, over 10 to poaching and others to natural causes, compared to total of 59 rhinos last year. The country has about 1040, the world’s third largest herd of rhinos.