#Rhino poaching incident in #Meru National Park shows ongoing challenges


(Posted 04th May 2018)

Following the killing of three rhinos inside the rhino sanctuary in the Meru National Park on Wednesday 02nd of May 2018 has the Ministry of Tourism and wildlife issued a statement to underscore the government’s commitment in tackling the poaching menace.

Start Statement:

Kenya continues to enjoy leadership in wildlife conservation as indicated by increase in wildlife populations, where indicators such as elephants stand at over 34,000 individuals – the fourth largest in the world and rhino population stands at over 1,000 individuals – the third largest in the world.

The poaching trend has been on a downward trend largely due to enhanced wildlife law enforcement efforts and Government investment in conservation. These efforts led to 85% reduction in rhino poaching and 78% reduction in elephant poaching, respectively, in 2017 as compared to when poaching was at its peak in 2013 and 2012,

In 2017 we lost sixty-nine elephants and nine rhinos. These successes are as a result of security strategies to enhance wildlife security situation in the country. Collaboration with other security agencies, the Judiciary and other local, regional and international stakeholders have been stepped up, thus resulting to the gains and achievements realized.

It is, therefore, with a heavy heart that we announce the poaching of three Rhinos last night, 2nd May 2018, at the Rhino Sanctuary in Meru National Park, where we lost two black rhinos and a calf.

The incident happened at around 6:30 pm, where upon hearing gunshots the security teams reacted swiftly towards the direction of the gunshots and laid ambushes at strategic points till morning, but which did not yield results.
A thorough search, both aerial and ground was conducted on first light where carcasses of two adult rhinos and a calf were found with the horns missing. No sign of the gang was reported, but our teams, both covert and overt, are in hot pursuit with good leads

Subsequently did the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala yesterday visit the KWS Headquarters in Langata to discuss and evaluate the security systems in place with a view to boosting surveillance on all fronts, airborne included to raise the threshold against poaching and growing human-wildlife conflicts.

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