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Conservancies help reduce human wildlife conflicts at Maasai Mara game reserve

The  establishment of 16 conservancies at the World Famous Maasai Mara Game reserve has helped in reducing incidences of human- wildlife conflicts in the area, Masai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) Chairman, Dickson Ole Kaelo has said.

Ole  Kaelo said lesser cases of human- wildlife conflicts have been reported in the recent past as compared to when residents used to hurt the wild animals for food and economic gains.

“Since we established the 16 conservancies covering hundreds of thousands of acres, the communities are earning dividends. They are getting bursaries for their children, employment at the hotels in the conservancies or as rangers and this has made them change their view on wildlife,” said Ole Kaelo.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday a few days after the opening of the conservancies multi-million modern headquarters at Aitong area in Narok West Sub County, the chairman said involving the community in wildlife conservation has already borne fruits.

“The community has now realized the importance of wildlife which they view as important as their livestock. They have embraced the wild animals and so far, we have seen the number of wildlife increase. Right now, we have about 100 lions and hundreds of elephants in our conservancies,” said Ole Kaelo.

Area MP, Gabriel Tongoyo hailed the conservancies’ management in their efforts to conserve wildlife saying their presence has positively impacted on the lives of the constituents.

He said the income from the hotels and camps in the community-owned conservancies has supplemented the Constituencies Development Funds (CDF) through bursaries and construction of education facilities.

Nevertheless, cases of human-wildlife conflicts have continued to be reported around the game reserve as wildlife strayed from the park to the community destroying crops and mauling livestock.

The latest incident happened at Siana in Narok West  where two herders killed a lion after it mauled their 10 livestock.

The morans however, escaped death during the incident though they were also injured by the lions and were rushed to Narok County Hospital.

A month ago, another herder speared a lioness to death after it mauled his 105 sheep at Olare Motorogi conservancy near the game reserve.

The owner of the goats Kayooko ole Kisemei, 45, said a mature male and a lioness invaded his sheep pen at around 4am in the wee hours of the morning killing the goats.

By  Ann  Salaton

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