Two poachers shot dead in Laikipia

POACHERS PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE

(Posted 15th November 2013)

Two poachers ended up being shot dead by police reservists working on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, when they were pursued off the sprawling estate after what has been described as a ‘botched poaching incident’. The pair was apparently interrupted in their mission by the ever alert patrols who then pursued them before they got cornered and killed in a shootout near Matigari. An AK 47 assault rifle with ammunition was recovered from the scene which was secured and processed by regular police officers.

Rangers on Ol Pejeta are armed for their night patrols and when on rapid deployment after being enrolled in to the Kenya Police Reserve, which entitles them to not only carry arms but also engage criminals under the regular rules of engagement the Kenya Police works under.

The suspects had apparently tried to escape on a motorbike but failed to shake off their pursuers and then made the fatal mistake to engage the well trained rangers in a fire fight which they ended up losing. Only a few weeks ago was a similar incident taking place at the nearby Solio Conservancy where again one poacher was shot dead while his colleague managed to escape with gunshot injuries.

The sharp eyed surveillance on Ol Pejeta, as witnessed by this correspondent during a recent 5 day working visit, can only be commended and will be improved further when in a few weeks time a UAV will arrive to carry out aerial surveillance of known entry hot spots, which will then be able to direct ground personnel immediately on to sites where suspected poachers are trying to gain access into the conservancy. A full story on that new venture by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy will appear here when the drone has arrived and goes operational. Meanwhile thanks to the surveillance and security team on Ol Pejeta for once more putting their lives on the line in the protection of Kenya’s wildlife heritage. Visit www.olpejetaconservancy.org for more details on the work the conservancy does.

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