Where bush meat rules

May 27, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIVASHA, Kenya, May 27 – At least 100 kilograms of bush meat is intercepted in Naivasha monthly raising fears that there is a ready market for bush meat in the area.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Senior Warden at the Hells Gate National Park, Nelly Palmeris said on Wednesday that about 20 people are also arrested by KWS every month with bush meat.

“There is a lot of ready market for bush meat and most of it has been intercepted on its way to Nairobi so we know that Nairobi is also providing some ready market for this meat and that is why everyday then poachers are out there trying to poach,” she said.

Ms Palmeris said the rise was because 90 percent of the wild animals in Naivasha lived outside the protected areas which are Longonot and Hells gate National Park.

She said the wildlife service was now working with the community to ensure most of the wildlife went back to the protected area.

“Most of the animals in Naivasha area are the large herbivores like the buffalos, zebras and antelopes. But it is very difficult to have all those animals come back to the park because it is a very small area only 68km² and Longonot is just a mountain. So, most of these animals will still remain in the communal land,” she said.

“So we have to reach out to make parks beyond our parks so that these animals can still continue existing in the ranches and farms.”

She said Naivasha district has about 67,000 wild animals and out of this, only about 6,700 live within the protected area in the park.

“This is serious because we are losing many wild animals to bush meat. Bush meat is in two phases. We have those who go for the small animals for consumption only and there are those who do it for commercial purposes which mostly entail the bigger animals especially the zebras and the buffalos,” Ms Palmeris explained.

“Before settlements, this large area was all occupied by wild animals but then after the gazettement of the park and the population and settlement around, it meant then that the bigger population still remained in people’s lands and ranches.”


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