Authorities in Narok County have launched investigations into the deaths of three lions, four hyenas and one eland antelope at the Olchoro Ololo Conservancy.
Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki says the wild animals died on Sunday night after unknown persons allegedly placed snares on their pathways.
“I assure Kenyans that we will leave no stone unturned until we apprehend the culprits. Our duty as the security team is to protect people as well as the wildlife that brings tourists into the country,” he said.
According to Achoki, Kenya Wildlife Service personnel manning the conservancy that is outside the Maasai Mara Game reserve has managed to find 25 other snares that had been laid.
“We have not yet established the reason behind such kind of behaviour. We don’t know if those involved are locals or people from other parts of the country,” said Achoki.
Narok Senior warden Richard Chepkwony said veterinary officers have been on the ground to collect tissues from the dead animals to help ascertain the real cause of death.
“What is known is that the animals died out of ensnaring, however, we have launched investigations and when the full report is out, we will let Kenyans know,” said the senior warden.
He said the dead lions were two pre-mature females and one adult male adding that the population of lions at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and its environs is approximately 500 lions.
“These animals have employed thousands of people who man them on a daily basis, killing them only means destroying the livelihood of many Kenyans,” said Chepkwony.
Unlike in the past, where the land used to be communal, people now own private land in the area.
The change in land tenure and the increase in population has been blamed for the rise in human-wildlife conflict around the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.