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KWS saves seven elephants held hostage by Laikipia farmers

18 September 2015, 21:28 Joseph Njung'eh

Nairobi - Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers have saved seven elephants which had been held hostage by farmers at Pesi village in Laikipia County.

The stray elephants had invaded farms and destroyed crops.

Irate farmers said they incur losses amounting to millions of shillings annually over wild animals’ raids.

The seven male jumbos had broken Laikipia West Fence and raided maize and horticultural farms in nearby villages.

Residents chased the animals to a nearby dam where they held them hostage demanding compensation from KWS failure to which they intimated at killing the animals stating that their livelihoods were endangered.

“We have suffered for a long time over severe damage from these animals. KWS has been treating the animals more special than man’s life,” said the irked residents.

More than 400 members of public surrounded the dam and began pelting stones and sticks to the animals while others lit fire at the edges of the dam.

Armed KWS rangers were however able to control the situation after a helicopter arrived from surrounding private conservancies.

The panicked elephants stayed together in the center of the dam as the charged crowd screamed and whistled.

Later, one of the animals led others out of the dam and moved out running towards the crowd which suddenly scattered as each person ran to save his dear life.

The rangers escorted the animals back to the forest.

Several wildlife stakeholders have been agitating for erection of an electric fence around the forest to avert human-wildlife conflicts.

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