By Pharis Kamau
Police detectives are on the lookout for the owner of a rifle found hidden under a shrub in following a tipoff by the residents Nakuru County.
The firearm, a Mark 4 bearing the serial number 44112 and loaded with five ammunitions is suspected to be the one used to kill a three year-old white Rhino in Lake Nakuru National Park early this month.
Addressing the press at the scene, Regional police commissioner Mohammed Birik said the riffle was discovered by members of the public, who informed KWS and other security organs.
“The Mark iv riffle bearing a serial number 44112 was recovered. It is capable of killing big wildlife animals. We suspect it had been hidden to be used later in carrying out poaching at the park,”he said.
Birik, who was accompanied by Nakuru DCIO Collins Wekesa, said five rounds of ammunition were found at the scene, one of them already spent. He said the county’s security officesrs and KWS have formed ‘Linda Kifaru na Uhangamize Uharifu’ to curb poaching at the park.
“We have formed a security team and it is on a high alert. We warn poachers of dire consequences. We want to save our park and the wild animals in there. The poachers’ days are numbered,” Birik said. “Poachers should avoid stepping here. The war will continue until our animals are safe and secure.”
The national park’s senior warden Dickson Ritan said since January, six rhinos have been killed. “This month we haven’t experienced any poaching. Our security is on high alert,” he said.