Samburu residents say gov’t considers elephant life more important than human life
Residents of Kirimon area in Samburu Central Sub County on Wednesday held demonstrations against the frequent elephant attacks in their villages, saying that authorities regarded elephant life as being more precious than human life.
The residents complained that despite reporting the incidences, little is done by police and other government officers to curb the attacks.
“Recently a conservationist came here concerned about the death of an elephant as the family of a man who was killed by the same elephant mourned their relative. What does that mean, does it mean that the life of an animal is more important than that of a human being? Posed Silas Lempirdan, a resident in the area.
The residents have now asked for the government to deal with the issue, failure to which they would take matters into their own hands and kill the jumbos.
“It is either the elephants live in Kirimon or we continue enjoying our freedom of living in this area. The government should give us an alternative land failure to which we are going to kill all elephants. We are not cowards,” threatened Elijah Leririo, a resident of Kirimon.
Owever, speaking to Citizen Digital, Samburu Kenya Wildlife Service Deputy Warden Simon Gitahi said KWS rangers have been deployed at Kirimon to protect residents against more elephant attacks.
“We are going to leave our rangers here. They would be based here so that in case there is an incident it would be easy to respond because we don’t want any Kenyan to lose his life because of wildlife. Human life is very important,” said Mr Gitahi.
Gitahi discouraged residents against killing elephants in the region, explaining that the surge in human-wildlife conflict is the result of the ongoing drought in Samburu and Laikipia counties that has exerted pressure on grazing areas forcing wild animals out of their habitats.
“It is very unfortunate that the situation here is very fragile and very bad because the elephants are just in the middle of people’s habitat where there are livestock, crops and people moving around,” he said.
He urged people walking at night, early in the morning or late in the evening to be more vigilant and look out for the jumbos.
“We know there are children going to school. If you sight an elephant and you think the place is dangerous you should contact our staff who will be based here to scare the animals away,” said Gitahi.
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