Speaking during the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos on Saturday, participants urged the government to step up security patrols and coordinate with neighbouring countries to tackle poaching.
The march took place in 136 cities and a host of towns across six continents. In Kenya, it started at the National Museums of Kenya and ended at the historic Uhuru Gardens.
Conservationist warned that rhinos and elephants may be wiped out in the next 10 years, if poaching is not addressed. “This march educated the public on the need to protect our ecosystem, which is the main foreign earner as well as source of jobs for our young people,” Paula Kahumbu, Wildlifedirect executive officer said.
Kenya has lost about 116 elephants and 26 rhinos to poachers. Comparatively, the country lost 384 elephants and 30 rhinos in the year 2012 and about 289 elephants and 29 rhinos in 2011.
The march followed a recent report, Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory, which detailed how ivory is smuggled into the market.
The report by Born Free USA, said the Mombasa Port registered the most illegal ivory seizures worldwide in 2013-2014, replacing Dar es Salaam Port.
“Mombasa has the highest number of seizures globally by volume, some 18 tonnes between 2009-2013, but despite a large number of containers seized in Asia and known to have originated from Tanzania, very few seizures are actually made at Tanzanian ports, likely due to mismanagement and corruption at port facilities,” says the report.
It states that nearly all the ivory nabbed came from neighbouring countries. KWS director William Kiprono has been advocating for a sustained awareness campaigns on the plight of the rhinos.
Speaking during the World Rhino Day celebrations in Nyanyuki, Kiprono said deterrent and severe penalties will be applied for poachers and dealers of rhino products to robustly tackle the current high poaching threat to rhinos.
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