Top Kenyan Official links Somali gangs and corrupt rangers to rise in elephant poaching


Kenya lost 375 elephants and 20 rhinos to poaching in 2012 compared to 289 elephants and 29 rhinos in 2011. In mid-January 2013, 11 elephants were killed for their tusks in Tsavo National Park by a gang of 10 poachers. Around the same time, two tonnes of ivory (638 pieces) of ivory estimated to be worth $1.4 million was confiscated in Mombasa.

Top Kenyan official Francis Kimemia, Head of Public Service, directed the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to investigate and furnish the Office of the President with findings, saying that gangs from neighboring Somalia and former game rangers are behind this drastic poaching rise.

“We want to know if it is an outside or inside job; the issues have to come out in the open. It has to be known who is behind the poaching,” he said.

According to an article in Kenya’s Daily Nation, KWS spokesman Paul Mbugua also confirmed that most of the poachers shot in the act usually do not have any identity cards and their bodies are never claimed.

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