Amidst all the bad news in 2020, there was at least one silver lining. Kenya recently reported that not a single rhino was poached throughout 2020—something that hasn’t happened in the country in over two decades. What’s more, Kenya also saw record lows in the number of elephants poached—only 11 elephants were killed in 2020, the lowest-recorded total in the history of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and a sharp decrease from 350 a year just five years ago.
As the director of the KWS underlined, the authorities’ abilities to keep poaching low even amidst decreased footfall during the Covid-19 pandemic is “not just luck, it’s down to lots of hard work and dedication”. Indeed, Kenyan authorities have taken a number of critical steps towards implementing better anti-poaching policies in recent years and have deployed a number of innovative tools to stamp out the abhorrent practice—from high-tech secure radios from French company Ellipse Projects, to mobile app CyberTracker which has simplified patrols, to community engagement and ensuring that poachers face serious consequences.
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