The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said
it had increased operations to curb poaching and arrest
poachers, after recording at least three elephants and
four rhinos killed in the past three weeks.
KWS spokesman Paul Gathitu said Friday
that rangers would help scale up efforts to protect
elephants and rhinos across the country after an
apparent increase in organized wildlife crimes during
the just-ended festive season.
“Efforts to track down poaching
suspects are underway in several parts of the
country,” he said in a statement.
Gathitu said four poachers on Dec. 20
intruded into the Ruma National Park in Homa Bay county,
west Kenya, where they shot dead a black rhino and its
Gathitu said KWS security personnel
responded by mounting intensive aerial, foot and vehicle
patrols and raided homes of four suspects linked to the
“One notorious suspected poacher was
later arrested and booked at the police station. He
was in possession of a cable snare (winch) and a
rhino hoof. A crackdown is underway to arrest the
other suspects,” he said.
He also said three suspected poachers
were intercepted by KWS patrol teams in the Taita
Ranches, southeast Kenya on Dec. 22. One suspect was
gunned down and two elephant tusks were recovered.
The suspects killed an elephant for
its tusks in the area two weeks before their arrest,
according to the KWS official.
Meanwhile, carcasses of two rhinos—a
mother and a calf—were found by KWS security teams at
the Ngulia Sanctuary in the Tsavo West National Park on
Dec. 31, when a burst of fire was reported within the
Gathitu said an anti-poaching
operation regarding this incident was underway.
In another development, one of the two
poachers, who were out to kill rhinos at the River Njoro
area in the Lake Nakuru National Park, was killed in a
shootout with KWS patrol teams on Thursday, while the
other escaped with serious gunshot wounds, he said.
Also on Thursday, a poacher, who had
killed an elephant at the Chakama area near the Kulalu
Ranch, was arrested in the Tsavo East National Park,
with one elephant tusk, two poisoned arrows and a bow
Gathitu further said elders of the
Maasai community around the Tsavo West National Park on
Friday surrendered two elephant tusks after sustained
pressure and outreach efforts by KWS teams who were
reported the poaching of an elephant in the area two
The KWS has expressed concerns that
the recent spike in poaching, mainly targeting
elephants, lions and rhinos, are threatening many years
of conservation efforts and animal populations that had
started to balloon.