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KWS seize snakes from conservancy

By Francis Ontomwa | August 24th 2012

Kenya Wildlife Service officers have raided and confiscated snakes from a nature conservancy in Kakamega that was operating without a permit.

The officers confiscated over eight species of snakes that included forest cobra, African rock python and black mambas.
Warden Daniel Rono said Kakamega Nature Conservancy in Shinyalu constituency lacked an authentic permit to keep the serpents.

“These people do not have a permit to keep snakes and they lack trained snake handlers from recognised institutions which poses risks to the general public,” stated Rono.

The project under the Kakamega Environmental Education programme and owned by community members, started in 2010 and managed to secure a permit to keep wildlife animals not including serpents.

Extracting venom
Anastasia Mwaura from KWS research unit said they found out the conservancy was planning to start extracting venom from the snakes despite lacking a certificate to do so.

The conservancy’s organising secretary Pinto Anthony acknowledged that they had not secured the permit but said that they had applied to have one.

“We are still working out ways to have the document and already our application is with the KWS and hopefully we shall have it in good time” he noted.

The officers decried poor conservation facilities at the centre. The snakes were ferried to Kitale Museum.

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