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Stray Jumbos driven back to park

By | April 11th 2012

By Renson Mnyamwezi

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel have been forced to use an aircraft to drive to the park herds of elephants that have invaded people’s settlement in parts of Taita-Taveta.

KWS officials said more than 200 elephants have invaded Kishushe Location and were terrorising residents.

Maktau Ward Civic Leader Flumence Mshila and residents claimed the jumbos have imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on residents and also paralysed learning in schools.

The warden in-charge of the Southern Sector of Tsavo West National Park, Samuel Rukaria said the wildlife conservation body has mounted ground and air operation to drive the elephants back to the park. They have also started work on stalled electric fence projects and extending the existing ones to reduce the human-wildlife conflict.

Rukaria cited the worst hit areas by wildlife menace as Maktau, Mwachabo, Msorongo and Mwatika.

“We’re alert and closely monitoring the situation. It is a migratory season for elephants that are moving from the park to Jipe and Mkamazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. Maktau Location is one of the migratory routes for the animals hence the conflict,” he added.

electric fence

Rukaria said the quick implementation of the Maktau-Kishushe-Ndii electric fence project was the only solution to the menace.

Residents and leaders in the area had earlier opposed the implementation of the 60km project saying it would encroach on their land. They told the Government to stop the Sh120 million donor-funded project until a boundary dispute between KWS and residents was adequately addressed.

Rukaria pointed out that Ndii-Ndara and Athi-Umbi electric fence projects in the northern part of the park had been completed while the Bura-Alia project would be extended.

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