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Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Instrumental in Arrest of 4 Poachers

September 03, 2008

In early August, a joint team of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers apprehended four poachers a few kilometres North of Lewa. One of these men had been on the KWS “most-wanted list” for years. Given that the price of ivory is at an all-time high in Kenya, this is one of Lewa’s biggest successes in dismantling a poachers’ network.

It took months of work to get the proper information on these poachers. Via the Lewa Informant Network, we were able to gather substantial information on these four men of Somali origin. We were told that they were operating in the region between Lewa, Il Ngwesi and Samburu National Reserve; we also were told that they were also involved in the illegal sale of firearms.

When the men were apprehended, they were all carrying illegal automatic weapons. We believe their intentions were to target Il Ngwesi rhinos and elephants in the region. The gang leader has been a wanted criminal for elephant poaching and illegal firearm dealing for many years. His arrest is one of the most important breakthroughs in combating elephant poaching.

These men were booked at the Isiolo Police station, where they are awaiting judgment.