Custom Search

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Packing their trunks! Kenyan elephants move home after wrecking havoc on African village

By David Gerges

Centre of attention: Villagers surround one of the elephants before its move near Narok town

A herd of Kenyan elephants responsible for property and agricultural destruction in the village of Narok, have been transported 100 kilometers south of the town, to the relief of local villagers.

Rangers began relocating an initial 50 of the 200 beasts, in a bid to prevent the escalating conflict that has seen the death of thousands of residents in addition to damaged crops.

The Kenya Wildlife Service revealed the 10-day operation to relocate the group would cost 31 million shillings (£201,000) in order to move them to the new reserve in Maasai Mara.

Heavy lifting: Local rangers place an elephant on a truck ahead of its transportation to a new home

Julius Kipngetich, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) revealed the extent of the disturbances for locals saying:

'Narok is one of the top-ranked human-wildlife conflict zones and the move to relocate the elephants will ease the conflict.

'For 20 years the elephants have been stranded in this region due to human resettlement and could not reach Mara and hence the decision to relocate them.'

Stampede: Simon Turana Esho sustained an ankle fracture and a groin injury after he was gored by an elephant

Many residents welcomed the move following the deaths of tens of thousands, whilst the repeated ruining crops in excess of thousands of shillings.

Teacher Simon Turana Esho, 32, was gored by an elephant while on a night watch at his wheat farm, sustaining an ankle fracture and a groin injury.

He said villagers have resorted to chopping down trees to deprive the elephants of habitat.

'We are clearing all the bushes to minimise the movement of the elephants. It is better to live in a desert that to lose our lives.'

Sour taste: Farmer Napolos Esho sun-dries the remainder of her maize harvest after about half her crop was destroyed by elephants

Meanwhile, Napolos Esho, whose maize harvest was badly damaged by elephants, said locals have no means of preventing the elephant raids, as killing them results in prosecution.

'We have no means of stopping them. We have had problems with elephants for years.

We try to chase them from our farms, but if they refuse to go we just let them eat up the crops.'

There's an elephant in the trunk! Rangers moving one of 50 beasts as part of the initial operation

Running free: A family of elephant's are released to roam in their new habitat

Another resident, Nasale Sholoi revealed the tragic loss of her sons, who were killed by the rampaging elephants.

She said: 'The elephants have caused us sleepless nights and we hope that all of them will be moved as we no longer see their need.

'We have lost our sons after they were killed by the elephants.'

Carefree: A group of elephants patrolling their new home in the wilderness of the Maasai Mara game reserve

If the operation is a success for the first 50 animals, the KWS plans to move 200 of them in all.

In the last decade, elephants have been responsible for more than 50 percent of the 9,299 cases of human-wildlife conflict in the Narok area, according to the wildlife body.



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger