By George Murage
A suspected poacher has been arrested with more than 500kg of game meat in Mai Mahiu. During an operation by the Kenya Wildlife Service yesterday, the officers seized a 14-seater matatu ferrying the eland meat after a chase along the Narok-Mai Mahiu road.
According to a KWS officer who declined to be named, they were acting on a tip off from members of the public over a group of men who were involved in the illegal trade. "We flagged down the matatu but it did not stop. This led to the dramatic chase where some suspects escaped but we managed to arrest one," said an officer.
During the one hour chase both the KWS vehicle and the matatu were damaged after they collided near Suswa trading center. "As we head to the festive season, we have seen an increase in the number of game meat incidents but we have increased our patrols," said the officer.
Naivasha police boss Charles Kortok confirmed the incident. He said the suspect is being held at Naivasha police station. Kortok said they are searching for the suspect's accomplices. "We are detaining the vehicle used in ferrying the game meat and we are working with KWS to make sure we get rid of this illegal vice," he said.
Meanwhile KWS officers have shot dead a killer hippo near one of the hotels on the shores of Lake Naivasha. It is suspected that the wild animal killed a Chinese tourist early in the year as she filmed a group of hippos feeding near the hotel. A warden confirmed said the hippo had been a threat to hoteliers and residents of Karagita estate.
"The hippo has been causing havoc and fear among area residents and we decided to get rid of it before it causes more harm," he said. The officer attributed cases of human-wildlife conflict to the increase in human population and the closure of wildlife migratory routes.