By Maryanne Gicobi
The rampant cases of poaching witnessed in the country have been attributed to lack of requisite training on the part of game rangers, among other reasons.
A new report has come up with suggestions of techniques that the Kenya Wildlife Service can adapt to effectively combat poaching and subsequently ivory smuggling.
One of the recommendations is to treat sites where elephants have been killed as crime scenes.
“Although it has often been overlooked, sites where elephants have been killed should be secured in order to protect evidence,” reads the report.
The study also states that it is crucial for anti-poaching trackers to be well trained in tactical skills and intelligence to catch not only the low-level poachers, but also the high-level criminals who oversee the illegal ivory trade.
KWS has recently set a unit for training its officers in among other techniques, crime scene management.
The special inter-unit force that was established a while ago to fight poachers should train its officers on schemes that will improve investigations and provide better evidence, as only evidence which has been properly secured at the crime scene can be presented in court.
“At the end of training, the ranger will; with only a pen, paper, a knife and a mobile phone equipped with a camera; establish a range of evidence to ensure that poachers are caught prosecuted and convicted,” states the report.
Poachers in the 70s and 80s, the report revealed, often killed rangers. It was not until the rangers received better training that the situation improved.
Further, the study suggests use of separate anti-poaching units. Small units reduce the probability of graft and facilitate collection of intelligence and establishment of anti-poaching networks in villages outside protected areas. More....