One arrested as detectives posing as customers recover a 100kg of elephant tusk (Kenya)

Aug 11, 2019 | News

By JOSEPH MURAYA, Capital News

Detectives have recovered a hundred kilogrammes of elephant tusk valued at Sh10 million in Nyandarua County.

The recovery was made by officers who posed as customers, following a tip-off from the public. During the late yesterday’s incident, police nabbed one male suspect aged 42-year-old, while another one escaped.

“The suspect is in lawful custody,” Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said. He will be arraigned

A manhunt operation has been launched, as police pursue the suspect on the run, even as they seek to dismantle the syndicate believed to be involved in poaching across the country.

Kenya’s national elephant population is estimated to be 35,000 having increased by 119 percent over a period of 30 years from 16,000 elephants in 1989.

While cases of poaching have drastically reduced, largely due to concerted efforts by Government and conservationists, who have seen hefty fines introduced across the world, the menace has entirely been eliminated.

For example, the Mara ecosystem elephants have increased from 1,000 in 1983 to the present 2,493 translating to an increase of 149 percent in 35 years.

In the Maasai Mara ecosystem a total of 61 elephants died in 2018, 23 of mortalities being as a result of natural causes, 10 were due to human-elephant conflict, 4 were poached while 24 died from, “causes that were not immediately established since the carcasses were detected when they were petrified and extensively scavenged” according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

In 1989, President Daniel Arap Moi ignited twelve tons of elephant tusks, in a revolutionary gesture to persuade the world to halt the ivory trade.

In 2016, over 100 tonnes of Ivory and Rhino horns were burnt down, in yet another firm message of anti-poaching, to the world. “Kenya is making a statement that for us ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said then.
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