Here is KWS response to ‘monkey massacre’ scare
A notice to Murang’a University of Technology (MUT) students to avoid the institution on Wednesday and Thursday during a monkey shooting exercise has caught the attention of Kenyans online.
The notice published on the notice board signed by the chief security officer Mr Kimotho had information that the students should stay away as live bullets would be used.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers had been called in to address the issue of disturbance by monkeys in the institution.
The notice whose ref was “Shooting of Monkeys” read in part, “the exercise will involve firing of life (sic) bullets which may cause fear and panic.”
KWS spokesperson Paul Gathitu Masela confirmed that indeed the exercise is ongoing but clarified that the “shooting of monkeys” notice was a miscommunication by the university.
“They called in about the disturbance and we advised them to inform the students of the exercise that involve shooting in the air to scare away the monkeys. It is usually our first intervention which if it fails we then capture and relocate the monkeys,” Mr Masela told Nairobi News.
The service spokesman explained that the university was to notify students that there would be a shooting.
“We needed the institution just to advise that it was friendly fire for managing the situation and scare away the monkeys and possibly capture and relocate them if the warden advises on that as the next move. The operation is still ongoing and the warden will be giving information to us on whether they are still there and if there is need for relocation,” Mr Masela told Nairobi News.
Murang’a County has in the past had to deal with marauding monkeys that destroy farmers’ crops owing to its rich forest cover.
The county even got involved, hiring personnel to capture the monkeys back to the Aberdare Forest.
“We had to reach out to the county government and explain that it is our mandate and that we were willing and able to assist without the capture becoming commercialized and turning into a money making venture,” KWS’ Masela explained to Nairobi News.