FOUR people have been arrested for grazing their livestock in the Tsavo East National Park. They are said to have driven a more than 2,000 cows in the park on Monday night to collect it the following morning.
However, Kenya Wildlife Service rangers spotted the livestock at night and drove them out of the park to the Moi Stadium in Voi where they arrested the four when they went collect the animals. ”The four were arrested after they turned up at the Moi Stadium where their cattle were being held under a heavy guard by our rangers,” said KWS assistant director in charge of the Tsavo conservation area Wilson Korir. “This is a major breakthrough since we have been struggling for a long time trying to end herding in the park.The operation will continue until we are sure that the grazing menace has ended in the park,” he said.
Korir said grazing in park is a threat to tourism since many tourists who visit the park lamented seeing more livestock than wildlife yet they had paid a lot of money at the park gates. “Tourism is bringing a lot of wealth in this country and we cannot leave anything to chance that is a threat to wildlife,” he said.
He said that the herders had been taken to the Voi law courts where they were charged. Wildlife conservationists have been lamenting over the lenient penalties awarded to the herders. “Its high time our MPs fast track the passing of the new wildlife bill since we believe that it will bring sanity in wildlife conservation,” said a wildlife conservationist in Voi. Illegal herding in the park has been blamed for the increase in human-wildlife conflict in the region. KWS claims that the livestock deplete pastures in the park forcing wild animals to move outside the protected areas.