Anti-poaching efforts got a shot in the arm today with African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) donating assorted wildlife crime scene kits to the Kenya Wildlife Service.
AWF President Dr. Philip Muruthi walked the acting KWS Director General Prof Charles Musyoki, through the various donation samples which were laid out for exhibit at Nairobi National Park main gate. Also present were KWS Director of Security Robert Muasya, the Head of KWS Wildlife Protection Department, Dickson Lesmirdana and AWF Wildlife Law Enforcement Manager Didi Wamukoya.
Handing over the kits which were packaged in large black containers, Dr. Muruthi praised the long-standing partnership with KWS, saying that AWF headquarters is in fact stationed in Kenya.
He said that AWF’s main focus was to stop the killings of wildlife, the trafficking of illegal wildlife trophies and the demand for trophies. In light of this, AWF has actively contributed to capacity building of KWS rangers and the sensitization of the Judiciary about the serious nature of wildlife crime.
He noted that Kenya was last year removed from the global list of the countries of primary concern with regard to illegal trade in ivory and urged all conservation partners to commit to ensuring the well-being of all wildlife.
Prof Musyoki expressed his appreciation for the AWF donation, adding that AWF had for many years walked hand-in-hand with KWS in many ways, such as capacity building, support by donating equipments, construction of an exhibition room, and the launch of a modern canine facility.
Prof Musyoki said that of scene of crime management was critical to KWS law enforcement because it enabled staff to do the right thing at the right time and ensured robust prosecution.
“Through assistance such as that from AWF, KWS teams on the ground are being empowered with the tools to put into practice what they have been taught. Being able to package evidence in such a way as to expedite more prosecutions will drive home the message that this kind of support will prevent the loss of wildlife,” said Prof. Musyoki.
The KWS boss urged staff issued with these valuable items to use them responsibly and get ahead of the criminals, saying that the equipment donated would make a marked difference in wildlife crime prosecution.
“We in conservation must cement in people’s minds, the notion that one cannot get away with crimes against wildlife. KWS is fortunate to have a partner like AWF, and our shared-goals relationship remains strong and is blossoming,” Prof Musyoki said.
Some of the equipments donated by AWF included packets of latex gloves, crime scene tapes, forceps scissors, Swiss Army knives, flashlight headsets, retractable measuring tapes, clear and khaki Evidence bags of varying sizes, tweezers, scalpels, latex gloves and Crime Scene Numbers (tags).