The security team in Narok County has launched investigations over mysterious deaths of three lions, four hyenas and one eland at the Olchoro Ololo conservancy in Narok West Sub County.
Narok County Commissioner (CC) Evans Achoki said the wild animals died on Sunday night after unknown persons placed snares on their pathways.
“I want to promise Kenyans that we will leave no stone unturned until we get the culprits. Our duty as the security team is to protect people as well as the wildlife that bring millions of foreign exchange in the country,” he said.
Achoki who spoke from his office today said the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) manning the conservancy that is outside the Maasai Mara Game reserve has managed to get 25 other snares that had been laid by unknown people.
“We have not yet established the reason behind such kind of behaviour. We don’t know if those involved are locals or people from other parts of the country,” said the CC.
He added that no part of the animals was missing, as the carcasses were intact hence the intention of killing the animals not yet clear.
Narok Senior warden Richard Chepkwony said the veterinary officers have been on the ground to collect the tissues of the animals to help ascertain the real cause of death.
“What is known now is that the animals died out of ensnaring, however, we have launched investigations and when the full report is out, we will let Kenyans know,” reiterated the senior warden.
He said the dead lions are two pre-mature females and one adult male adding that the population of lions at the Maasai Mara game reserve and its environs is approximately 500 lions.
“These animals have employed thousands of people who man them on a daily basis, killing them means destroying the livelihood of many Kenyans,” said the warden.
The change in land tenure and increase in population has contributed to increase in human wildlife conflict around the Maasai Mara game reserve. Currently, people own private lands unlike before where the land used to be bushy and communal.
But the Narok Senior warden has called upon the residents to protect wild animals saying they are the major assets for the county as they help in generating revenue.
“Residents should protect the wild game the same way they protect their livestock as they too help in generating a lot of income for the county,” he said.
By Ann Salaton