• This comes after reports that velvet monkeys invaded farms in Kahethu and Riaini villages of Kiunyu location in Murang’a county and destroyed crops.
• In another incident, a hippopotamus is reported to have invaded farms in Ndimu village destroying farms and putting human lives at risk.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has established a rapid response unit to patrol areas facing human-wildlife conflict.
The Problem Animal Management Unit, will be working closely with affected communities as part of the elaborate measures taken by KWS to stem human-wildlife conflict and encourage co-existence between wildlife and communities.
This comes after reports that velvet monkeys invaded farms in Kahethu and Riaini villages of Kiunyu location in Murang’a county and destroyed crops.
In another incident, a hippopotamus is reported to have invaded farms in Ndimu village, destroying farms and putting human lives at risk.
“It is important to note that due to climate change and the prolonged drought witnessed in the latter part of last year, some wild animals have encroached on farms and several human habitats in pursuit of water and pasture,” KWS said in a statement.
“KWS Management has put in place elaborate measures to encourage human-wildlife co-existence, which include working with communities in all affected areas in Kenya,” it added.
The PAMU unit has been tasked with continuously monitoring and rapidly responding to emerging conflicts and incidences.
The service called on members of the public to report all incidences to the nearest KWS office or through the toll-free number 0800-597-000.
The ongoing prolonged drought has worsened the human – wildlife conflict especially in the areas near the protected areas, leading to death of livestock from predation by carnivores.
A report released by the Wildlife Research and Training Institute in December showed that 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 205 elephants and 51 buffalos have succumbed due to drought.
On Sunday, Tourism CS Peninah Malonza visited Mwingi county to look into the challenges of human-wildlife co-existence in the area.
Malonza who was accompanied by accompanied by KWS director Wildlife and Community Service Dickson Ritan made the visit following an incident where elephants destroyed Muaani Primary School water tanks.
The service purchased two tanks to compensate the school and urged the community to work closely with KWS and report any incidents for immediate intervention.