Reports of two shootouts with poachers became known overnight, when a source from Nairobi confirmed that KWS enforcement personnel was in hot pursuit of two gangs of poachers in Tana River County.
During the fire fights at least one poacher was killed while others are suspected to have been wounded and are struggling to get away for the pursuing teams. Recovered were an AK 47 assault rifle and several magazines from the dead poacher while in the other incident again several magazines and bullets were found together with at least two tusks, recently removed from an adult elephant.
KWS coast conservation area senior staffer Simon Gitau informed the media and local authorities about the incident and requested support from the public to report anyone found with gunshot injuries to the police or the nearest KWS contingent tracking the gangs.
Poaching in Kenya has in recent months seen an upswing and KWS has mobilized special commando units now deployed at strategic locations for immediate action when cases of poaching become known or when gunshots are heard from or in the vicinity of national parks, game reserves and conservancies. In the most recent past several fierce engagements with poachers were reported and several of them killed while others were arrested and their equipment confiscated.
What is now missing is to strengthen Kenyas wildlife laws to provide stiff financial fines and long custodial sentences for anyone found poaching, facilitating poaching or trading in blood ivory and other wildlife products.