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Man charged for being in possession of Pangolin

Three people have been arraigned in a Narok court for dealing with an endangered wildlife species, pangolin at Empaash area in Narok South Sub County, without a valid Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) permit.

 Daniel Kisaika, Tonyua Kisaika and Sanchan Kisaika were arrested on Saturday March 12 this year at their home where they had allegedly locked the endangered animal in the house.

Appearing before Narok Chief Magistrate George Wakahiu Monday, the three denied the allegations and through their lawyer Martin Kamwaro they pleaded with the court to release them on a lenient bond.

“My clients live in an area surrounded by the wild animals and it is not a wonder if the animal finds its way to their homestead, while in search of food. I request the court to consider releasing them on a lenient bail terms,” said Ole Kamwaro.

However, the chief magistrate denied the trio the free bond on justification that the animal was an endangered and a protected animal.

The court ordered the three to be released on Sh1million bond each with surety of similar amount. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the KWS airlifted the pangolin as exhibit to the court.

Wakahiu however directed the KWS to file an affidavit for the animal to be released since it was still alive and continued detention was a threat to its life since no one knows its feeding habits.

Pangolin is the only scaly mammal as scales make up to 20 percent of its total body weight.

The animal is threatened by poachers due to its high demand scales and meat mainly in China markets, where it is used for traditional medicine. Pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world.

            The case will come up for hearing on May 10, this year.

by Ann Salaton

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