KWS warns of human-wildlife conflict as drought bites into parks

A file photo of Elephants. /AGENCIES
A file photo of Elephants. /AGENCIES

Residents living near wildlife parks have been warned to be wary of wild animals as the drought continues to bite deep into national parks.

In a statement, KWS on Wednesday warned locals near parks around Narok, Taita, Laikipia, Kajiado, Meru, Mau, Lamu and around Mt. Kenya region.

The service said locals should exercise caution while undertaking their normal duties especially in early mornings and late evenings.

“The ongoing drought situation has forced animals from their traditional habitats in search of pasture and water.”

“This has increased the risk factor of conflict as the wildlife come into contact with the public and human activities resulting in an increase in human-wildlife conflicts.”

The service said there has been an increase in reported incidents of conflicts compared to past years.

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A recent case is elephants moving from the Tsavo conservation area to Mwingi Sub-County, while others were reported in Meru, Kilifi and Narok areas.

“Interactions between wildlife and the public are expected to increase up to the time when rains are experienced and the pasture lands regenerate.”

There have been several cases of attacks on people, property destruction, livestock predation and crop raiding resulting from animals leaving the parks.

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In February, photographs of lions walking and playing on Kenya's roads surfaced when a

got out of the park and got into a settlement area in Lang'ata along the Southern bypass. KWS said they were all found.

KWS can be reached via its Toll free line

0800597000

or its nearest office.