Friday, October 7, 2005
Wildlife conservation groups oppose Kenya President Mwai Kibaki's decision a week ago to give control of Amboseli National Park to a local council. The council has allowed free cattle grazing by the Maasai -- as many as 15,000 head in an area designed as a reserve for zebras, elephants, wildebeests, and other animals. The most remunerative game reserve in Kenya pulled in more than $3.4 million from tourists last year.
Notable quotes from David Western, former head of Kenya Wildlife Service who now heads the African Conservation Center in Nairobi:
"Every other national park and reserve ... risks being erased on a political whim at a moment's notice."
Director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project Cynthia Moss, who has been tracking Amboseli's elephants:
the tourists "are already complaining that they didn't spend several hundreds of dollars a day to come to Africa to look at cattle."
News from the Elephant Trust on abolition of the national park: Elephant Trust news