Kenya: Slaughter of Jumbos is a National Disgrace


The Star

Date Published
SEVEN elephants have been poached in the Tsavo region in the past fortnight, including the jumbo killed on Wednesday night.
Coming so soon after President Uhuru Kenyatta burned 15 tonnes of ivory in a symbolic gesture that made headlines around the world, the slaughter is a national disgrace.
It is also a worrying phenomenon, particularly given the harsher and presumably more deterrent anti-poaching laws passed last year.
There is also the Kenya Wildlife Service announcement last year of the acquisition of GPRS tagging, new guns, and choppers.
What use is all this equipment being put to if elephant poachers can become so brazen as to run rings around a conservation initiative fronted by the President himself?
Rampant insecurity brought the tourism sector to its knees in 2014, with massive losses of revenue and jobs.
Kenya needs all its tourist attractions intact and on offer if this year’s high season is not to go the way of last year’s.
The call by the Taita Taveta Ranchers’ Association for sniffer dog units in the Tsavo region, to spoor poachers, and the alert given to the Star by a livestock owner that Somali herders have put up bomas inside Tsavo West National Park are both timely.
We hope KWS and other authorities charged with protecting elephants – and other iconic wildlife – are paying attention.