Kenya Wildlife Service has trapped two rare hyenas and a leopard suspected to be part of others that have heightened human/wildlife conflict in Kajiado.
The two hyenas, mainly found in North and East Africa belong to striped species that, according to KWS officials, feature prominently in Middle Eastern and Asian folklore.
Magical Body Parts
Head of Problem Animal Management Unit, Vincent Ongwae told KNU on Sunday the striped hyenas are so rare that in some areas in the Middle East their body parts are considered magical, and are used as charms or talismans.
Ongwae said the three beasts were trapped on different dates after the local community complained of heightened human/wildlife conflicts.
“Members of the local communities raised a complaint and our officers moved into the areas marked red and placed the traps. We left the traps with the local people, who later alerted us after the animals were trapped,” said Ongwae.
Tsavo West National Park
He said the leopard trapped in the Nongopen area of Masimba was translocated on Saturday to Tsavo West National Park.
The head of PAMU said the endangered striped hyenas trapped in the same area where the leopard was also captured were translocated to Chyulu National Park.
He said that in the last 20 days KWS’ PAMU at Kiboko in Makueni County has mitigated human/wildlife conflicts with the assistance of the local administration and the communities.
“We are succeeding because we are using the local community members to act as early alarm warning systems,” said Ongwae.
The head of PAMU said that on Saturday wardens working under him managed to drive away from Solitei are five elephants within Kajiado East.
“I have several units in Isara that operate up to Merrueshi and another in Masimba. I also called for support from our Kajiado Central office to assist in taming the elephants that had invaded Solitei area,” said Ongwae.
Ongwae ruled out the use of guns or poison to eliminate the hyenas, saying the two and the most in the area are the rare types.
“As much as they are eating livestock, we try to trap them before they are relocated to safe areas in the park. We are happy that the local communities are assisting us in identifying troubled areas so our officers can act,” he said.