The First Kenyan Conservation Laboratory

In 2007, Kenya lost 47 elephants and 5 rhinos to poaching. In 2012, the number increased to 384 elephants and 30 rhinos. And in 2013, 302 elephants and 59 rhinos were killed by poachers. Poaching is when an animal is killed illegally by humans for something the animals possess that is considered valuable, such as rhino’s horn, dinosaur’s skin, or tiger’s bone.  

Thousands of people have been fined and imprisoned for poaching by the Kenyan Government. In 2014. the Kenyan Government initiated anti-poaching measures which reduced poaching menace by 47% and 40.7%; that is equivalent to 164 elephants and 35 rhinos. T Kenya Wildlife Service has launched Eastern and Central Africa’s first Wildlife forensic and genetics laboratory, that helps conserve and manage endangered and threatened priority specie  through DNA profiling among other key functionalities.

WWF has invested millions of dollars in the conservation of Elephant and Rhino in Kenya and they hope that the lab will develop the molecular forensic expertise in preventing the illegal act of animal poaching. The Laboratory constructs a chain of global labs which works towards establishing a global rhino database.  The lab will also contribute support to biological management of rhinos all over the country to all for maximization of growth rate.

The creation of this laboratory will provide accurate scientific proof required by prosecuting officers to benefit court admissible evidence that will incriminate these bush meat sellers and assure prosecutions.

The illegal act of poaching of rhinos and elephants’ produces the product such as bush meat and ivory is a widespread conservation challenge that creates imbalance in the eco system and drives many species to near-extinction. Some products such as bush meat and traditional medicine is a serious health hazard. So next time you buy a piece of jewelry made by elephant’s tusk, considering the harm that you may be contributing ecological havoc and supporting animal poachers.