ANOTHER POACHER KILLED IN SHOOTOUT
(Posted 24th November 2013)
Information received from conservation sources in Kenya speaks of yet another shootout between rangers and poachers at the Lewa Conservancy, only 4 days after a female and reportedly pregnant Eastern Black rhino was poached on the conservancy. Information from the public was received by intelligence personnel which allowed for the ranger team to be ready and arranging for an ambush in the area where the poachers planned to enter the conservancy. During the shootout were at least three suspects injured but managed to escape for now while one of the suspected poachers was shot dead. A rife, magazine, national ID card and most important for further investigations a mobile phone were recovered from the body, while those who escaped are now being hunted by teams from KWS and other security organs involved in anti poaching operations.
Kenya in August this year formed a special task force to deal with poaching, comprising of KWS rangers, members of the paramilitary General Service Unit or in short GSU and personnel seconded from other government security agencies including regular police and intelligence services.
The source also confirmed that the group of four was involved in the poaching incident last week and earlier poaching incidents on Lewa and neighbouring conservancies and national parks. This incident follows fairly closely after two other poachers were shot dead two weeks ago, which was also reported here.
Rangers employed by conservancies are now regularly drafted into the Kenya Police Reserve, which allows them to carry arms and operate under general terms of engagement issued by the Kenya Police, after they received additional arms and operational training, a move which has already shown results as in the past rangers on private conservancies often had to wait for regular police or security services to arrive, by which time poachers had already escaped. Kenya’s new hardline approach to poaching, which has seen a number of suspects gunned down anti poaching operations, has been widely hailed as positive by the conservation community and the few objections by human rights activists over the unspoken and undocumented ‘shoot to kill’ approach been largely drowned out in a sea of overwhelmingly positive comments, that poachers at last are getting what they have been doing to Kenya’s elephant and rhinos or in the words of another regular contributor ‘Those who live by the sword die by the sword’. Hence no apologies at all when concluding, that this poacher too got what he deserved, said on behalf of Kenya’s endangered wildlife.