Kenya conservation breaking news – Last of the Samburu ‘matriarchs’ is killed


More gruesome news emerged overnight that the last of the famous Samburu matriarch elephant, named Khadija, was shot and killed for her tusks, as President Kibaki prepared to light the fire under 5 tons of blood ivory at the Manyani KWS training camp last week.

The same female elephant had already been treated weeks earlier for a bullet wound sustained during an attempt to kill her but survived that ordeal only to be fall victim now to a band of ruthless criminals.

Poaching in Samburu, but also elsewhere in Kenya, has reached new heights in recent months, driven by exploding demand in particular from China where a ‘new prosperity’ has rekindled the greed and hunger for the ‘white gold’, which is then transformed into intricate carvings, displayed at the residences of the nouvelle riche in a blatant display of status and power.

While China has for years now failed to strengthen domestic legislation in regard to import, processing and possession of ivory and other wildlife products, Kenya is according to the wildlife minister in the final stages of amending the wildlife act, introducing harsh financial fines and long term prison terms, although it is still not clear when these amendments will come to parliament, where members are busy arguing over the tax demands and have already a huge backlog of bills to clear, demanded by the new constitution and with deadlines creeping ever nearer. Meanwhile have conservationists demanded that government introduce a shoot to kill policy for poachers, in the absence of legislation being strengthened until now, to provide a sufficient deterrent to the criminals engaged in poaching, that they will lose their lives when found by security patrols and anti poaching units.

Harsh measures for sure – any better ideas or suggestions are most welcome. 

6 Responses

  1. A shoot to kill policy is the only answer for poachers, plus long jail terms and the seizing of all assets of anyone caught using, selling or buying ivory and ivory products.

  2. As I see it the monetary profits are so great for this poaching that the only preventative and deterrent would be for the poachers to know that they will be shot on sight. Elephants, rhino and other cannot shoot. The playing field needs to be even. Also if there were ever to be any exchange made for lieniency shoo on sight would curtail that as well. Anyting less than shoot to kill will not have a deterrent effect as the profit is so great.

  3. Get the Wrangers more trainning as snippers and go out with a shoot to kill policy. If any survive they must go to prison for the rest of their lives so harsher laws are needed. As I am aware that Dawie Groenhald is out on bail and is still getting hunter permits until he faces his crimes in September. Surely this is not good enough and shows that with money the people who supply these permits look the other way.
    I have just read a report saying how many numbers are left and it is frightening. Before they are extinct and we will blame all parts of Africa for that, get in strickter laws. Get airlines double check there is no Ivory leaving the country and as for China well they don;t have much time for any animal so maybe chopping of the hands is not a bad idea. We need to get tough and protect these defenless animals. I saw a Giraffe gunned down and a zebra neither of which are agressive so they didn’t stand a chance.
    Get tough on poachers and you will have support from around the world.

    1. Yes that is exactly how I feel too. Why can’t we go back to the ’80’s policy of shooting to kill even from the air???? Why is the new wildlife act not been prioritised?????? If things don’t change soon nothing animal or mineral will be left in Africa for the next generation. Greed seems to be the driving force behind this mass extinction of our resources. Why do the Chinese not ban ivory altogether. Instead they are now training more carvers and have formed a trade union for them. This means the government in China agrees with the murder of our wildlife!!!!

  4. It will only end when there is no more of anything to kill for gain.

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