Poaching declines amid stiff penalties for culprits

Source Xinhua

Kenya has recorded a decline in poaching of elephants and rhinos in the recent past thanks to enhanced vigilance at wildlife sanctuaries and speedy prosecution of culprits.

Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said that in 2018 only 38 elephants and 4 rhinos were killed by poachers compared to 60 elephants and nine rhinos in 2017.

“We only lost 38 elephants and 4 rhinos in 2018, the other 11 rhinos died due to natural causes like drought, hunger, and diseases. We want to bring the incidents of poaching to a bare minimum,” said Balala.

Balala said the government has put in place robust measures that include capacity building for rangers, investments in surveillance technology and community involvement in order to eradicate poaching.

“Our rangers have been motivated through improved perks, retraining and friendly working conditions to enhance their ability to combat poaching within protected parks,” said Balala.

He said that enhanced surveillance inside wildlife sanctuaries combined with stiff penalties for offenders has contributed to a decline in poaching.

“Some of our bilateral partners have donated surveillance equipment like night goggles for use by rangers patrolling our parks. The passage of wildlife act that spells tough penalties for poachers has been a boost in the fight against wildlife crimes,” said Balala.

Fred Segor, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said that Kenya is winning the war against poaching thanks to political goodwill coupled with technology-driven policing of wildlife sanctuaries and public education.