Star (Kenya)

An elephant in Amboseli National Park /REUTERS

An elephant in Amboseli National Park /REUTERS

Kajiado county warden Dickson Korir on Saturday refuted claims that Maasai morans have killed 16 Amboseli jumbos that strayed into Imbuko location on Friday.

Korir, who spoke to the Star, said the only two elephants died.

“We are investigating the cause of death for the two jumbos found in Imbuko location on Saturday morning. It is too early to apportion blame,” Korir said.

The warden confirmed the eastern part of the county has recently seen invasion of jumbos from Amboseli National Park into private farms where they destroy property and trees.

“This ongoing drought has forced wild animals to wander to private farms in search of water and grazing,” he said.

He said local morans on Friday threatened to kill all elephants straying in to their farms, adding that the wildlife body was determined to participate in moving them back.

“The local people should also appreciate what the KWS is doing for them in terms of mitigating drought effects in the region by providing them with water. We repair damaged water wells and provide them with fuel for pumping water from established boreholes,” he added.

On Friday, an estimated 400 Maasai morans in Imbuko location, Mashuuru Sub County, were refrained from killing stray elephants by local deputy county commissioner, Stephen Nyakundi.

The men who were armed with spears had vowed to kill all the elephants estimated to be in a herd of more than 70 jumbos.

But before they could attack the first bull said to be leading the herd in destroying crops and other vegetation in people’s farms, Nyakundi pleaded with them against doing so.

Nyakundi managed to convince the morans against attacking the elephants but they gave KWS two days to drive the jumbos back to the park.

The area borders Amboseli and the Tsavo National Parks.

Nyakundi said he agreed that elephants from the two national parks had caused damage to property and were a threat to humans.

“When the schools are open like now, these elephants can be very dangerous to our children. The KWS have agreed to drive the jumbos in the next two days failure to which the morans said they will kill all of them,” Nyakundi said.

Our spot check revealed the KWS officials started arriving in Imbuko location in the afternoon of Friday to start the exercise, which might require helicopters so as to beat the time given by the morans