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Laikipia residents push for relocation of marauding elephants

LAIKIPIA, Kenya, Dec 30 – Residents and a section of leaders from Laikipia County are pushing for the government to relocate marauding elephants that have been terrorizing them in the recent past.

The residents pointed out that this could serve as one of the best solutions to deal with the rising cases of human-wildlife conflict.

Speaking at Thome shopping Centre in Rumuruti Division, they lamented over the huge losses incurred as a result of the wild animals’ invasions into their farms.

They at the same time accused the government of doing little in giving them hope by compensating them for the losses.

The stated that since the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013) that stipulates that a genuine victim of human-wildlife conflict has a right to seek compensation was enacted, nothing has been forthcoming despite numerous claims being filed lodged over the invasion.

According to the Act, the loss of life, injury or property damage must be reported to the nearest Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) office within 48 hours.

Laikipia Senator John Kinyua said the wild animals have wreaked havoc in the region and hence called on the government to move with speed and look for better solutions in addressing the menace.

He noted that some of the excuses being given by the KWS over handling of the jumbos were un-excusable and hence the department ought to identify the best option in tackling the matter.

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He also blamed some residents who interfere with electric fence erected to wade of off the animals.

However, according to KWS Game Warden in-charge of the Laikipia West Station Mohammed Mandera, cases of human wildlife conflict were rampant, a matter he attributed to a lack of enough pasture and water for the animals that migrate from Samburu, Baringo and Isiolo areas.

He said though the KWS was putting forth frantic efforts into place to erect and electric fence around Rumuruti Forest more need to be done in collaboration with the local communities.

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