Saturday, 27 July 2013 09:20

2 Poachers Arrested As First Lady Launches Anti-Poaching Campaign Featured

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers have arrested two suspected poachers in possession of 30Kg of ivory tusks worth 3 million shillings.

The two were arrested in Nairobi's South C estate after officers posed as potential buyers and are currently being held at the Langata Police Station.

They will be taken to court on Monday.

This comes hours after First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launched an anti-poaching campaign dubbed “Hands off our Elephants” whose main objective is to educate Kenyans and the world on the need to conserve the elephant for posterity.

The First Lady also launched the Kenya premier screening of a documentary “Battle for
the Elephants”, a new film which exposes the brutal ivory trade and its effect on Africa and Kenya’s elephant populations.

Speaking during the campaign launch at a Nairobi hotel, the First Lady called on all Kenyans and friends of Kenya to take up their responsibility in stopping poaching so as to secure a Kenya where the elephants roam freely.

The First Lady stressed that elephants are a major tourist attraction to Kenya. Through tourism, she said, the Government earns revenues totalling to 120 Billion shillings annually which is the equivalent of four Thika Super Highways.

The First lady added that ivory trade threatened over 300,000 jobs in the country with millions of other direct and indirect beneficiaries from tourism being affected.

Mrs. Kenyatta noted that 183 elephants by poachers by July this year alone which has reduced their population in the country to approximately 30,000.

“How can we stand by while one of the world’s most amazing species is driven to extinction? This is a recipe for instability and poverty, and the very stability of our beloved nation will be threatened,” said the First Lady.

Mrs. Kenyatta called on Kenyans and conservationists in general to pool resources towards stopping the escalating trend of elephant poaching in
the country.

“Unless this crisis is averted, in ten years there will be no wild elephants left in Kenya. It is a thought too painful to imagine,” added the First Lady.

The First Lady, who has been championing wildlife conservation, affirmed her personal commitment to the campaign so that together with other conservationists real solutions can be generated to save the African wild elephant.

“Whenever I see elephants, I marvel: At their grace. At their wise and ancient nobility.  At their power and gentleness.  At the very Majesty of who they are. And the more I learn about these remarkable beings, the more committed I become to saving them,” she said.

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judy Wakhungu, conservationists Dr Richard Leakey, Dr. Paulu Kahumbu and film maker John Heminway urged Kenyans to join hands in the campaign against poaching and conserve elephants as a national heritage.

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