Alarm as 117 elephant carcasses found in Maasai Mara Game Reserve
Narok, KENYA: Scientists who have been carrying wildlife census in Maasai Mara Game Reserve have stumbled on 117 fresh and old elephant carcasses. The elephants, whose tusks were missing, may have been killed by poachers or the local community in human-wildlife conflicts. Last month, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) acting Director General William Kiprono said elephant population in the Mara was declining at an alarming rate and called on residents to help security agencies reverse the trend. A senior scientist, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media on the issue, said the distribution of elephants in the expansive reserve was not even, adding that most herds had relocated. The week-long exercise was funded by Word Wide for Nature to the tune of Sh3 million. The exercise in Serengeti National Park is still going on due to the vastness of the park.
Narok KWS Senior Warden William Sang said the results of the census that also targets all other wildlife species except rhinos will be announced in Soronera in Serengeti. Tanzania National Park officials, where a similar exercise is being carried out, said the census targets elephants and buffaloes. See Also: Leaders differ over Cheboi’s rustling remarks. The exercise is being funded by various animal protection groups. “Apart from poaching and human-wildlife conflict, we suspect that some herds of elephants have moved to Loita and Mau forests because of the dry spell in Mara,” said the scientist, who added they would soon conduct a special census for rhinos. The census was also to find out wildlife distribution and movements. The scientists said they came across a large number of livestock in wildlife rangelands, adding that the encroachment may see some animals disappear.