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Poachers may have set Mount Kenya fires

2012-03-20 16:20

Mount Kenya - A Kenya Wildlife Service official says that wildfires that have been raging across Mount Kenya may have been set by poachers.

Robert Njue, the assistant director in charge of the mountain conservation area, said on Tuesday that he believes poachers set the fires in order to divert manpower away from hunting down the poachers.

Flames raged through a bamboo patch on the mountain on Tuesday, thwarting attempts to extinguish the mountain's many fires. Most other fires are under control but may be moving through the underground root system.

Mount Kenya is the second-highest peak in Africa, at 5 199m. Elephants are among the many animals fleeing the flames.

Poachers target elephants for their ivory and smaller game for their meat.