NAIROBI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Wednesday raised alarm over increased human-wildlife conflicts in the areas surrounding national parks and game reserves and blamed them on the prolonged drought in the country.
KWS said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the dry spell being experienced in the East African nation has led to animals straying out of the parks in search of pasture and water.
"The ongoing drought situation in the country has resulted in dispersal of wildlife from their traditional habitats in search of pasture and water. This has increased the risk factor of conflict as the wildlife come into contact with the public and human activities," it said.
"From the cases recorded by KWS, it is evident that there has been an increase in reported incidents of conflicts compared to past years; the notable ones being attacks on people, property destruction, livestock predation and crop raiding," KWS said.
The wildlife agency said cases in point include recent sightings of elephants moving from the Tsavo conservation area to Mwingi Sub-County in eastern Kenya, while others were reported in Meru, Kilifi and Narok areas.
Wildlife habitats have borne the brunt of prolonged dry spell in Kenya and there has been an exodus of wild animals from the parks into human settlements.
KWS, which is the country's lead institution mandated to manage wildlife, told the public that the interactions between wildlife and the public are expected to increase up to the time when rains are experienced and the pasture lands regenerate.
"In the mean time, the service is doing its best to ensure that both the public and the wildlife co-exist well," it said and advised communities living near the parks to exercise caution especially in early mornings and late evenings. Enditem