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Bonjoke Forest identified as an endangered wild animal sanctuary

The Nandi County Government has designated Bonjoke Forest as a sanctuary for endangered wild animals, according to Dr. Philemon Bureti, Executive Committee Member in Charge of Environment.

Bureti said Bonjoke Forest in South Nandi Sub-County will be the home of various types of endangered wild animals, which include lions, elephants, and Sitatunga.

He revealed that the wildlife orphanage, once completed, will act as a tourist attraction centre, boosting the county’s revenue stream.

The Environment CECM was speaking while flagging off the “Elephant Neighbour Centre’ an organisation geared towards saving endangered elephants and other wild animals in East and Central African countries.

Dr. Bureti committed that the County Government of Nandi will work closely with ‘Elephant Neighbour Centre’ to ensure Sitatunga, the main wild animal found in the county, and other wild animals are protected.

Jim Justus Nyamu, the Executive Director of the Elephant Neighbour Centre, promised to work with counties to ensure wild animals found in their regions are protected, including their habitats.

Nyamu thanked the Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wild Service in Nandi County for ensuring the remaining wildlife in the county is protected from human ruin.

He, however, called upon Nandi residents not to kill wild animals found within their environment but to always consult KWS and KFS on how they co-exist with wild life.

‘Elephant Neighbour Centre’ team, according to Nyamu, will tour Mt. Elgon Forest, where Elephants are found.

The Director revealed the team will be headed to neighbouring Uganda and other Central African Countries while seeking support to protect the remaining wild animals in the region.

Nandi Central Deputy County Commissioner Saidi Shabaan asked Nandi County residents to desist from killing wild animals on the loose.

“It’s important that we protect our remaining wildlife within us by not killing them,” Shabaan said.

The DCC instead reiterated that residents should work closely with KWS and the Kenya Forest Service to ensure the wild animals on the loose are kept safe.

Nandi County Ecosystem Conservator Kenneth Muskiton, also present during the flagging off, asked residents not to cut down indigenous trees, saying they are habitats for wild animals.

“Let us not cut down our indigenous trees. You can plant and harvest exotic trees but not indigenous trees,” Muskiton insisted.

On his part, KWS Nandi County Waden Baret Wechuli thanked the founders of the “Elephant Neighbour Centre” for showing interest in wild animals.

He promised that KWS will provide the needed support to ensure that the remaining wild animals in Nandi County are protected.

By Geoffrey Satia

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