Rangers colluding with poachers

Prof Judi Wakhungu when she visited the Lake Nakuru National Park. PHOTO/CHEBET CAROLINE

What you need to know:

  • Professor Wakhungu said since 2009, 17 rangers had so far been relieved of their duties for suspicion of colluding with poachers.
  • She said this during a visit to Lake Nakuru National Park last week.
  • Prof Wakhungu observed the poachers were highly skilled and armed with sophisticated weapons

Wildlife rangers could be colluding with poachers who are killing rhinos and elephants for game trophies.
Environment and Wildlife Cabinet secretary Judi Wakhungu has called for internal investigations to root out rangers believed to be colluding with poachers to kill the animals.
Professor Wakhungu said since 2009, 17 rangers had so far been relieved of their duties for suspicion of colluding with poachers.

She warned that no one would be spared in the fight to protect rhinos and elephants, which are Kenya’s key attractions in marketing tourism facilities to the world.
The cabinet secretary’s statement follows a closed door meeting with senior Kenya Wildlife Service officials during a visit to Lake Nakuru National Park last week.

This meeting came following the killing of a three year old rhino by suspected poachers.

This latest incident brings to five the number of rhinos killed in the park in the past three months.

The rhino was shot dead hardly a kilometre from the electric fence, barely a week after a lone arrow-wielding poacher was gunned down inside the park, 50 metres from the rangers’ houses.

Prof Wakhungu observed the poachers were highly skilled and armed with sophisticated weapons that enabled them to kill a rhino with a single shot.

Saying poaching was an international menace, Prof Wakhungu added that this was the sixteenth rhino killed in Kenya with South Africa losing 176 rhinos in 2013.

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