Rangers attacked by elephant poachers


elephant-tusk_140.jpgTwo rangers attacked and one killed while protecting elephants in Kenya

Earlier this month two Wildlife Works rangers were attacked by elephant poachers.  One was fatally wounded by gunshot.  Both rangers were working with Wildlife Works in the Kasigua Corridor.

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The first death of a ranger in the 15 years Wildlife Works has been active in the area, founder Mike Korchinsky points to an escalation in violence caused by the increasing demand for ivory.  The main markets for this, he says, are in the Far East, in particular China.

At the time of the attack on January 13th, our rangers, along with members of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), were tracking the poachers after the rangers discovered a suspiciously wounded elephant in the protected area.  Two of the gang of three elephant poachers were arrested in a nearby town two days later and have since led Kenyan Police to where they had buried the rifle and ammunition, which was wrapped in a pair of trousers and buried under a bush.

“This appalling and heart wrenching incident underscores the real threat to the community and wildlife of this region. As long as an illegal market for ivory remains, they are in grave danger, so we will continue to support brave Kenyans in their struggle to protect their local environment. We will never forget the sacrifice that Abdullahi Mohammed, Ijema Funan and their families made today in the name of wildlife conservation.” promises Korchinsky.

Sources: Wildlife Works, Ecosystem Marketplace and Mongabay

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