Sunday, July 27, 2014 – 00:00 — BY RAPHAEL MWADIME
Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have killed one suspected poacher and recovered four elephant tusks in Tsavo West National Park.
Five other poachers fled leaving behind an M16 rifle, two AK47 magazines, an axe, three saucepans and six five litre water jerry cans.
The poachers had already killed a 45-year-old elephant near the water pan and were in the process of removing its tusks.
Senior KWS Warden in charge of Tsavo West, Josephat Erupe, said KWS rangers on Friday traced foot prints of the group of poachers before getting them removing ivory from a bull elephant they had killed.
“On Friday our rangers spotted the strange foot prints that they traced to Marwa dam where the suspects had killed an elephant. At about 8pm our officers caught up with the suspects where they spotted spot lights and when they came closer, they saw the group removing tusks from the elephant. They opened fire and gunned down one suspect,” he said.
Erupe said that the rangers took ambush until Saturday morning where they realised that they had gunned down one suspect and recovered four elephant tusks and the firearm.
“We have launched an air ground operation to track the runaway suspects. It a matter of time before our security personnel catch up with them,” he told the Star at the scene of incident.
Erupe said that the poachers have devised a habit of waiting for elephant at the watering pans where they kill them.
“We have observed that the poachers wait for elephants when they come to drink water at the watering pans where they shoot them. We have enhanced security surveillance in the park in a bid to fight poaching,” he said adding that the male Jumbo aged about 45 years was killed some 50 metres from the water pan.