By Beth Nyaga, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in Kajiado has recovered four pieces of elephant tusks hidden in a bush in Torosei area, Kajiado Central.
Weighing 14 kilograms and estimated at a street value of Ksh 1.4 million, the ivory was discovered by locals who informed their area Chief.
KWS County Warden Vincent Ongwae said the ivory is suspected to have been sneaked into the country through the border, as there had been no reported cases of elephants killed in the recent past.
“Residents found the ivory and informed the Chief who alerted us. We suspect it must have been sneaked in from Tanzania,” said Ongwae.
Ongwae said the poachers who were ferrying the tusks for sale in the country hid them in the bush after locals discovered them. He added that so far no one had been arrested but they were following leads with the help of residents to nab the poachers involved. He commended Torosei residents for reporting about the ivory adding that his office is committed to ensuring cases of poaching are eliminated.
The County Warden further revealed that KWS has released Ksh13 million as compensation for wildlife attack victims in Kajiado County. Ongwae said 65 people who were victims of wildlife attacks from 2014 to 2017 had started receiving compensation. He added that compensation for other victims who were affected after 2017 was ongoing and urged all those affected to be patient.
“Those compensated were either directly attacked by wild animals or lost their livestock through wildlife attacks from 2014 to 2017. Others who were attacked after 2017 will also receive their compensation after the validation process is complete. We urge them to be patient,” said Ongwae.
He assured locals that KWS was committed to resolving human-wildlife conflict in the area and urged them to provide timely reports to their offices in case of wildlife attacks to ensure a fast response.