Kenyan rhino killed despite new laws

2014-01-27 07:03

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Poachers have slaughtered a rhino in the Kenyan capital's national park, officials said on Sunday, as the brazen attack came despite tough new laws designed to stem a surge of such killings.

Amid a wave of rhino and elephant killings across the country, the shooting of the rhino in the heavily guarded Nairobi park - the headquarters of the government's Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) - illustrates how easily poachers are decimating the country's large animals.

"Nairobi National Park is one of the best protected areas, so it is a really shocking thing for us," KWS spokesperson Paul Udoto told AFP.

"The rhino horns were hacked and taken away... investigations are underway."

Kenyan courts have for years had their hands tied by laws that limited their powers over those convicted of wildlife crimes, but a new wildlife act signed into law this month has provided far stiffer penalties.

Previously, punishment for the most serious wildlife crimes was capped at a maximum fine of 40 000 Kenyan shillings (R5 168.44), and a possible jail term of up to 10 years.

Some smugglers caught in Kenya with a haul of ivory were even fined less than a dollar a piece.

New laws have massively increased the punishment, with poachers now facing fines of as much as 20 million shillings (R2.5m) and possible life in jail.

Nairobi's national park, which lies just 7km from the tower blocks of the bustling centre, is described by KWS as "a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city".

Poachers killed a rhino in the park in August in a similar attack, escaping with the horn, the first such attack for more than five years.

It is a major rhino sanctuary, and its previously believed secure environment - fenced in for much of its 117km² - was seen as ideal for breeding and restocking other parks.

Read more on:    kenya  |  poaching

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.