Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers late Saturday evening encountered gunfire from a poaching gang they were pursuing at Dawida ranch in Taita Taveta County.
According to a statement from KWS, the gang is believed to be part of four poachers who are behind the slaughter of a family of six elephants on Thursday at Dawida ranch in the periphery of Tsavo West National Park.
Three suspects were arrested and booked at Voi Police Station awaiting arraignment in court on Monday last week.
They were found with no identification documents. Assorted foodstuff and cooking sufurias were recovered. This was after the team of ranger`s pursuing the gang came under heavy fire from armed gang who escaped arrest. An operation to apprehend the suspects is underway.
Six elephants – two female adults and four tusks-less juvenile carcass were discovered poached and their tusks chopped off. All carcasses had gunshot wounds.
It is believed that the motive of the latest killing was a revenge mission after 15 suspects were arrested and charged in Voi Law Court following a poaching incidence in the same area. The suspects were released on Ksh100, 000 bond each pending a hearing of the case.
Meanwhile, two rifles with eight rounds of ammunition were recovered hidden in a thicket near Lake Nakuru National Park following a tip off from members of the public on Saturday evening (April 26, 2014).
The two high caliber rifles, a .404 and .375, had four rounds of ammunitions each. No arrest has been made in connection with the recovery.