A series of suspected wildlife poisoning incidents were reported in Kisaju, Kajiado County, in July. The Olerai/Kisaju area is a known breeding and roosting site for White-backed Vultures.
A team from Nature Kenya and partner organizations were alerted of the incidents and promptly responded.
With support from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) scouts, the team traced six dead White-backed Vultures at various locations within the area between 7th and 8th July. One vulture carcass was found on an acacia tree next to a beehive. It is suspected that the vulture had consumed a poison-laced bait somewhere else.
The location of the poison-laced bait is unknown. The dead vultures had red stains on their heads and necks. A readily available pesticide going by the name of Marshal is suspected to have been used to lace the bait. Samples from the dead vultures were collected by a KWS veterinarian and sent to the government chemist for further analysis. The vulture carcasses were later safely disposed of by burning.
A tagged White-backed Vulture, whose location had remained stationary for some time, was found dead a few days later. The vulture’s radio transmitter was recovered.
Elsewhere, a partially burnt lion carcass was discovered near Osewan village in the Emotoroki area of Kajiado on July 16. The dead lion is suspected to have died after consuming a goat carcass laced with poison. It is not known who baited the goat carcass nor burnt the lion.