The Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) has come under scathing attack by the online community for allegedly ‘kidnapped’ an elephant calf in the name of rescuing it.
This after KWS said that in conjunction with David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust they rescued an abandoned and weak elephant calf aged five months that had lost touch with a herd of elephants in Ripoi area, Narok County.
KWS added that the calf had already been named Llaro, and that after treatment it had since joined other orphaned elephants at the rescue center.
@kwskenya in conjunction with @DSWT rescued an abandoned and weak elephant calf aged five months that had lost touch with a herd of elephants in Ripoi area ,Narok County.The calf now named Llaro,was treated & has since joined other orphaned elephants at @DSWT pic.twitter.com/NctUMZtRcX
— KWS (@kwskenya) January 9, 2019
According to a witness, who identified himself as Sekerot Ole Mpetti, the said ‘kidnapping’ happened on Wednesday January 2, 2019 at the Oloirien area next to Ripoi, Olarro.
He accused Conservancy Limited and Mara Elephant Project saying that they used fireworks and gunfire to separate the infant elephant from its mother and the herd, then smuggled the elephant into one of their vehicles after which it was transported to the Siana Springs Airstip.
“They lied to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that the infant elephant needed care at an orphanage the same day and DSWT dispatched an aircraft to collect the elephant and it was transported to Nairobi,” says Mr Mpetti.
“As I write this, the mother elephant has been returning to the scene of crime to look for its calf in vain,” the user said in a lengthy Facebook post.
The action did not go down well with Kenyans online who called out KWS over the incident.
A majority of them seemed angered by the fact that David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust decided to keep the baby elephant at the orphanage instead of returning it to its mother.
Here is how Kenyans on social media reacted:
Hey @kwskenya @DSWT @tunajibu there are allegations that you kidnapped the elephant calf from its mother , here is that allegation in full https://t.co/UcqCd05zlb We are looking forward to your response @ErrantNatives @wmnjoya @gathara @DrCarrieM https://t.co/YQYnqZlf9O
— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) January 12, 2019
Unless the mother is dead, this is an outright LIE.
Elephants are the most protective matriarchs in the wild. They NEVER “abandon” their young. Ever.
And can you address reports by local community that the calf was kidnapped, and that its mother has been in the area searching??! https://t.co/Lb2sKP8aop
— Wordslinger (@DrCarrieM) January 11, 2019
Why does this orphan have to stay at @DSWT, can’t it be re-introduced directly back into this herd?
— Anonymous Kenya (@Anon1KENYA) January 9, 2019
The stories don’t add up. The elephant herd will recognize the calf immediately once introduced back to the herd right away.
— gideon kigen (@gkigen) January 9, 2019
You don’t make any sense. The abduction allegations are serious. We are waiting for an explanation.
— #Mumhood (@Kiddos_Mama) January 10, 2019
return the calf to its mother.
— Peter Mwang’ombe (@MwangP01) January 11, 2019
‘Orphaned’ elephants brings more money from foreign sponsors than those in the herds.
— Kuria Ngugi (@KuriaNgugi) January 12, 2019
@tunajibu in a functional society the allegation that the calf was forcefully removed from it’s mother would thoroughly be investigated by an impartial team but hey this is Kenyan and we must eat
— Louiza Kabiru (@LouizaKabiru) January 11, 2019
Okay why cant you track the herd & introduce the traumertised calf back to the herd…they will surely recognise it the Mother is in unimaginable stress!!…
— I STILL LOVE KENYA (@FranklinChes1) January 10, 2019
#kwskenya is a tool for hire by these wazungus. Killing our heritage instead of protecting it
— Afrison (@Afrison04864111) January 10, 2019