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2 poachers arrested selling elephant tusks

25 March 2013, 16:33 James Kabotia

Two suspected poachers were arrested by Kenya Wildlife Services rangers in Laikipia County over the weekend while on their mission of selling elephant tusks.

Rangers who were on an operation at Chumvi area in Laikipia East district accosted the suspects who were on their way to sell four tusks weighing 25 kilogrammes.

Speaking to media, Mountain Conservation area Head and KWS Assistant Director Aggrey Maumo confirmed that one suspect managed to escape in the melee.

“Currently, the suspects are held at Nanyuki police station and we are jointly collaborating with the police and Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to arrest more suspects,” said Maumo.

The senior officer further stated that the nabbed suspected poachers are believed to have been behind a series of elephant killings in Sieku area in Laikipia North district.

He added that the suspects also left guns behind they used to kill the elephants as they went to source for market for the four tusks.

The incident comes barely a week after poachers killed a black rhino, which had just calved at Ol’Pejeta Conservancy in the County.

The killing brought to three the number of rhinos which have been killed by poachers in Mountain Conservation Area in the last three months.

Maumo said the poachers also shot and badly injured a resident of the area as they escaped from the security detail attached to the conservancy.

He said that early this year, poachers shot dead a rhino at Solio ranch and eloped with its horn.

Maumo further noted that heavily armed poachers raided Ol’Jogi ranch on January 31 this year where they shot and badly wounded another rhino.

He confirmed that the poachers were instantly pursued by wildlife officers and that they were not be able to chop its horn.

The rhino died the following day while undergoing treatment at the ranch.

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