Wildlife rangers in Kenya arrested five suspected poachers after they were found allegedly killing zebras at Endonyo Rasha, in Narok county, yesterday.
The arrests came as the Kenyan Government announced a special inter-agency task force to combat rising poaching in the country.
Rangers with the Kenya Wildlife Service, acting on a tip-off, found the poachers slaughtering a zebra. Two suspects fled.
Local reports said one of the poachers tried to take a firearm from a ranger, but was overpowered. A ranger was injured and taken to Tenwek Mission Hospital.
Rangers said the poachers had been using motorcycles to chase animals, meat from which would be sold on the black market.
There is growing concern in Kenya over rising levels of poaching, with both giraffes and zebras being taken for meat. A recent interception uncovered 6000 kilograms of giraffe meat.
Tourism authorities have voiced concern, with elephants also being killed by poachers for ivory.
The government’s response is the new anti-poaching unit, comprising security officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Administration Police (AP) and the General Service Unit (GSU).
The government says the unit will be deployed to poaching hotspot areas in Narok, Tsavo and Isiolo.
Cabinet secretary Judi Wakhungu, speaking on behalf of the the principal secretary for environment, water and natural resources Dr Richard Lesyiampe, said the government has now taken the fight against poaching a notch higher. More....