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BROCHURE RACK

More than 30 members of Kenya Wildlife Service arrested under suspicion of poaching

10/06/2013 12:01:25
world/Africa_nov_09/kenya_ivory_seizure_kws

Whilst KWS have made some significant seizures, vast amounts of ivory has been smuggled out of Kenya

Corruption no surprise in Kenya
June 2013. Kenya Wildlife Service has suspended more than 30 senior personnel who are under suspicion of participating in or helping poaching gangs operation in National Parks across Kenya. Kenya has always struggled against poachers targeting elephants, but the scourge of elephant poaching in Kenya has increased recently, and there has also been a surge in rhino poaching in the last month or so.

Conservation director arrested
Susan Soila Sayialel, a deputy director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, and her son, Robert Sayialel, who also works for the trust, have been arrested and charged with being illegally in possession of 19 kilogrammes of elephant ivory. Soila and her son claim that they have been framed by staff of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Robbed at Kenya Wildlife Service HQ
I visited Kenya in 2011, and our car was broken into whilst parked outside the KWS HQ on the edge of Nairobi National Park. This is in a car park where there are armed guards on the gate, and many employees wondering around all the time. I reported the theft to the security director, who showed no surprise, and no further action was taken. It seems it is very common place, and can only happen with collusion from some of the security staff there.

Kenya to clamp down on wildlife crime _ Big increase in punishment for poachers
Poachers will receive greater penalties if caught killing elephants in Kenya after a new bill was passed by the Kenyan Government - a move welcomed by international wildlife charity Care for the Wild. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his cabinet approved the Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill and Policy, which will massively raise fines and potential prison sentences for those caught poaching. Those found guilty could also lose property gained through poaching; while officials involved in poaching will lose their jobs. More rangers and a crack enforcement team will also be employed.

Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild International, said: "It's taken a long time coming, but this is excellent news. Kenya has been under attack from poachers for a long time now, but has offered no defence in terms of penalties for offenders. At least now, poachers know that if they are caught in Kenya, they will be properly punished.

"Care for the Wild has been running anti-poaching patrols in Kenya for many years, and the work has become very dangerous. We needed the government to show that they were protecting the people who protect the wildlife - and they've taken a step in the right direction."

Mr Mansbridge added that responsibility for the poaching crisis could not fall solely onto the Kenyan Government. Care for the Wild has been calling for the G8 group of nations to divert foreign aid into fighting wildlife crime - which is becoming increasingly responsible for national security issues.

"The world has been watching this crisis unfold, and the world is talking about it. But now the world has to act. Elephant poaching will not only lead to the sickeningly sad destruction of the most iconic of animals, but it is increasingly intertwined with growing poverty, ethnic rivalry, terrorism and civil war. This is no longer a wildlife problem, it's a world problem.

"This month, the G8 leaders meet in Northern Ireland. At their disposal is $90 billion of foreign aid. A plan exists, drawn up by elephant range states, to counter poaching - it costs $97 million, but they haven't been able to raise it. For the equivalent of just 7p per person from each of the G8 states' aid budgets we could start to squash this poaching problem. Please G8 - don't leave this until it's too late."

 

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

More than 30 members of Kenya Wildlife Service arrested under suspicion of poaching

I would suggest in future you seek clarifications from Kenya Wildlife Service to get the correct picture of the organizations issues to avoid misreporting as indicated in the above issues reported in under this heading.

Posted by: Shadrack Ngene | 02 Aug 2013 13:54:38

wildlife officials in Kenya in league with poachers

Explains why poaching has increased dramatically in the National Parks and successful detection by wardens has decreased.

Posted by: Karen Bradbury | 17 Jun 2013 09:54:41

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