By Sebastian Miriti, Kenya News Agency
Police in Marsabit have recovered two guns and four rounds of ammunition suspected to have been used in killing elephants in Hurri Hills, North Horr Sub-county in Marsabit County in April this year.
Marsabit county Police Commander (CPC) Martin Kibet said the firearms that included an Ak-47, a Carbine, two magazines and four bullets were recovered by a multi-agency security team at Rage village in Kalacha location through the community policing initiative.
Mr. Kibet said in his office during a press briefing that local elders helped in recovering the weapons that were used in killing two elephants on April 26, this year for ritual purposes.
The county police commander added that efforts were being made to arrest the suspects who are reported to have since escaped into a neighbouring country.
He cautioned locals against engaging in crime, saying the police would never relent in pursuing those committing crime and especially possession of illegal firearms.
Mr. Kibet said a bullet head retrieved from one of the carcasses would be subjected to ballistic examination, in order to establish if the recovered firearms were used in the poaching incident or not.
The Kenya wildlife services (KWS) director in charge of Upper Eastern region, Captain Robert Obrien said investigations have established that the poachers killed the jumbos in a bid to acquire the tail and ear pieces for a cultural fete held on the night of the material day.
Captain Obrien said that the outdated ritual practice was used in certain pastoralist communities to venerate killers of such animals as heroes.
The director urged residents to shun such beliefs and practices which he said have been overtaken by events, and do not also match the value of the elephants and other wild animals like lions, ostriches and the Colobus monkey that are normally killed for souvenirs.
He added that the service was currently carrying out public awareness across the county on the importance of conserving and protecting the national heritage.