Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has identified Naivasha and Gilgil as the main source of game meat that is consumed in the popular Burma market in Nairobi.
This came as KWS sleuths arrested three suspects including a Naivasha trader with over 200kgs of buffalo meat destined for Nairobi.
During the arrest in Marula farm located off the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, the officers impounded a personal car that was ferrying the meat.
The arrest came a couple of days after the officers arrested two suspects along the highway while in possession of elephant ivory weighing 14kgs.
In the latest incident, the three were nabbed as they loaded the meat into the gate-away car following a tip-off by guards working in the farm.
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According to KWS assistant director in charge of Central Rift Region Aggrey Maumo, cases of game meat trade for commercial reasons was on the rise in the area.
“Our intelligence indicates that majority of the game meat that finds its way in Burma market is sourced from Naivasha and Gilgil and we are keen to contain this,” he said.
He attributed the high cases to the number of wild animals away from Hells Gate and Mt Longonot national parks and nearby game sanctuaries.
“There are so many wild animals away from the parks and the ranches and the unscrupulous traders are taking advantage of this to kill them and sell the meat to unsuspecting customers,” he said.
Maumo said that they were working with local communities to address the illegal vice adding that a special team had been formed by KWS to address this.
“The suspects have been targeting buffalo and zebra meat for commercial purposes but their days are numbered as we shall get them,” he said.
Earlier, motorists using the Nairobi-Nakuru highway had been warned to be on high alert following an increase in the number of wildlife crossing the road.
According to Fred Muthui from Friends of Lake Naivasha, the most affected areas were Marula, Gilgil weighbridge and Soysambu area where the animals were seeking pastures along the highway.
He said that the recent fencing of ranches along the highway had contributed to the crisis with migratory routes closed forcing the animals to use the road.
“We have seen an increase in the number of wild animals along the highway and we are asking motorists to be cautious while using this road,” he said.