Residents decry increased poaching at Mara Reserve
By Leonard Korir
People living around Masai Mara National Game Reserve have raised alarm over escalating poaching activities in the area.
Scores of elephants have reportedly been killed and their tusks removed in an emerging organised illegal business.
Trans Mara Wildlife Scouts Association said 26 elephants have been killed over the last two years.
The situation has prompted intensified patrols by the scouts in conjunction with rangers from the Mara North Conservancy and those from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Paul Kimeleny, the chairman of Trans Mara Wildlife Scouts Association said the death toll was alarming, adding that urgent measures need to be put in place to save the Mara ecosystem.
Mr Kimeleny claimed some well-connected wealthy personalities were engaging in the illegal trade through a chain of local middlemen who act as poachers.
"We are unearthing the whole racket, so far our investigations have shown that there are some rich fellows behind the business," said Kimeleny.
He has called on the Government to investigate the menace before it gets out of hand.
The Mara North Conservancy sergeant, Peter ole Maitai, said areas most prone to elephant killings were Endeja, Sitoka, Olosentu and Laila forest.
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