Controversy on Kenya Giving 8 lions to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park

As opposed to what has previously been announced, the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) director William Kiprono said when talking to journalists corrected that Kenya is not taking 8 lions to Rwanda but have struck a deal with Kenyan authorities to import eight lions to increase the numbers in Akagera National Park. “No lions have been exported to Rwanda,” Kiprono emphasized. “Rwanda has only made a request and the matter is being discussed at the highest level of the government.”

Kenyan conservationists have opposed the transfer of these lions strongly arguing that Rwanda hasn’t yet addressed the big issue that led to the decline of her own lion population. According to Kipron, the lion population in Kenya stands at 2000 although any export of any Kenya wildlife requires presidential approval as well as agreement of several kenyan ministries.

Kiprono further advises that KWS is working with local and international partners to minimize threats to Kenya’s elephant population, improve enforcement policies, and conserve elephant habitats. KWS is also educating communities on the the penalties associated with trophy poaching and illegal possession of ivory.

International Fund for Animal Welfare regional director James Isiche reported that each year, about 35,000 elephants are killed globally to supply the illegal ivory trade. In the last seven months, there have been nearly 10 tonnes of ivory seized around the world, especially in Africa and Asia.and in June alone, 2.1 tonnes of ivory were seized in Mombasa.

He urged Kenyans to join hands in the fight against poaching hence adding effort to protect elephants. When we succeed in the fight against poaching, operation expenses incurred by KWS will reduce.

“This means that the money will instead help us fund more development projects as well as market the country tourism. For Kenya, tourism is one of the main economic pillars of the county, thus the need to support wildlife conservation efforts.

Rwanda is one of the upcoming destinations in Africa attracting a considerable number of tourists. It is a year round destination and thousands of tourists take Rwanda tours to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking. It has three safari parks which include Volcanoes National Park (PNV), Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera National Park. Other attractions in the country include Kigali city with its museums, genocide memorial sites as well as Lake Kivu famed for its beaches.

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