“Some of the poachers are armed with sophisticated firearms unlike in the past where most of them were merely armed with crude weapons,” she noted.
Park fires threaten wildlife in Tsavo
Park fires whose cause(s) have remained largely unknown have also been occurring in both Tsavo East and West.
This leads to the destruction of huge swathes of the park as well as destroying rare flora and fauna that the Tsavo belt is famed for.
A KWS pilot who declined to be named because he is not authorised to talk to the media said: “Every time I am up in the air, I count hundreds and hundreds of livestock grazing in the Tsavo which leaves me wondering whether we are conserving wildlife or cows and goats.”
He said that there were reasons to believe that that some senior KWS officers were colluding with the illegal herders to graze in the park judging from the impunity and arrogance that most of the culprits were exhibiting.
“Some of the livestock grazing in Tsavo are believed to belong to senior Government officials from the pastoral communities,” the pilot told The Standard.
“Every time the illegal herders are arrested, some senior shots in Government would call in the park headquarters, enquiring about the fate of those arrested and seeking to secure their release. Within a short while the illegal grazers are set free, without any charges being preferred against them.”
Mr Donald Mombo a tourism and wildlife consultant says stiff penalties should be put in place to deter illegal grazing in the parks. “It’s laughable that a herder caught grazing in the wildlife conservancy can be fined as little as Sh20,000 and set free,” said Mombo.
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