I have been in a meeting all day to discuss elephant poaching across Laikipia and the north. The data collected over the last 24 months shows a massive escalation in the rate of illegal killing of elephants. The
situation is now so bad that by most measures it can be considered out of control and certainly beyond the limits of what elephant populations can sustain.
Crime syndicates are involved and demand (primarily from China) has now reached such a high level that the price payable to the poacher for raw ivory is reported to be as high as KShs 20,000 per kilogram - or KShs 400,000 for a 20kg tusk. The KWS and other law enforcement agencies are trying their best to contain the situation but are being overwhelmed.
They are frustrated by the ridiculously light sentences being handed down by the courts - in the same court on the same day poachers caught in the act of killing an elephant in west Laikipia were fined Kshs 15,000, whilst a cattle thief was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for stealing one sheep!
CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy,