Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya to use drones to fight elephant, rhino poachers

26 March 2014, 08:00

Nairobi - Kenya plans to deploy surveillance drones to help fight elephant and rhino poachers and has introduced stiffer penalties for offenders, officials said on Tuesday.

Poaching has risen in recent years across sub-Saharan Africa where well-armed criminal gangs have killed elephants for tusks and rhinos for horns that are often shipped to Asia for use in ornaments and medicines.

"We will start piloting the use of drones in the Tsavo National Park eco system, one of the largest national parks in the world," said Patrick Omondi, deputy director for wildlife conservation at the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Omondi said the surveillance aircraft would be imported, but did not give details of how many or at what cost.

Tsavo National Park in the southeast is Kenya's largest, with sweeping plains and occasional water holes dotted with wildlife, including elephants.

"We attribute the problem of poaching in Kenya and other African states to growing demand and high prices offered for rhino horn and elephant ivory in the Far East countries," William Kiprono, Kenya Wildlife Service's acting Director General told a news conference in Nairobi.

Kiprono said Kenya had lost 18 rhinos and 51 elephants to poachers so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 302 elephants were killed, compared with 30 rhinos and 384 elephants in 2012.

Kenyan officers seized 13.5 tonnes of ivory at the port city of Mombasa last year, mostly originating from other countries in the region. At least 249 suspects have so far been arrested this year and prosecuted for various wildlife offences.

In January, a Kenyan court convicted a Chinese man of smuggling ivory and ordered him to pay a 20-million-shillings ($233,000) fine or serve seven years in jail in the first sentence handed out since Kenya introduced a new anti-poaching law.

Conservationists hope the new law, which allows for longer jail terms and bigger fines, will deter criminal networks.

Kenya has emerged as a major transit route for ivory destined for Asian markets from eastern and central Africa.

The government says poaching is harming tourism, a major foreign exchange earner.

 - Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...