6 elephants, 3 giraffes killed in Laikipia attacks (Kenya)


Gilbert Koech, The Star

Date Published

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Six elephants and three giraffes have been killed in the ongoing conflict between semi-nomadic pastoralists and ranch owners in Laikipia county.

Mugie manager Josh Perrett yesterday told the Star on the phone the six were killed by herders as the scramble for both water and pasture intensified.

“At the beginning, the situation was worse. But after engaging elders and the Kenya Wildlife Service on the need to protect wildlife, the killing went down,” he said, adding that officials and the authorities are aware of the killings. “I personally saw the three giraffes that were killed.”

This revelation comes two days after the Environment ministry expressed concern over the conflict. Wildlife Conservation director Stephen Manengene on Tuesday said no wildlife had been killed, but many had been displaced.

About 10,000 herders with 135,000 head of cattle have invaded ranches in Laikipia North in the past four months.

Mugie has about 85 elephants. Three hundred to 400 migrants cross the sanctuary. Perrett said the most affected are the genets, hyenas, antelopes, jackals, mongooses, servals, wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards, lions, aardvarks, aardwolves, bat-eared foxes and civets.

The Grevy’s zebras, Burchell’s zebras, dik-diks, impalas, water bucks, elands and porcupines, Beisa oryxs and Jackson’s hartebeests and more than 1,000 buffaloes also roam the plains.

Perrett said the combined efforts of KWS and security teams have lessened the impact of the conflicts.

“Police and chiefs have assisted us. But this has not been the case on wildlife protection,” he said.

KWS spokesperson Paul Gathitu said one elephant was shot and died while undergoing treatment by their officers. Efforts by The Star to independently verify the total number of wildlife killed was were unsuccessful as most of the KWS staff have been deployed to the Tsavo National Park to block herders from the park.