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Paul Udoto brings us the latest from the natural world

NatureFirst Aid training for Rangers
KWS has partnered with Canada and the Kenya Red Cross to offer advanced first aid training for rangers to enhance their capacity to respond to physical injuries. The first 42 rangers trained under this programme graduated recently at a ceremony presided over by Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, HE David Angell. The programme aims to train 420 rangers at the Law Enforcement Academy in Tsavo. Canada has strengthened its bilateral cooperation with Kenya in key areas like trade, wildlife protection and tourism. Angell said his government has earmarked US$2 million to support the war against wildlife crimes in Kenya. Kenya has lost over 65 rangers in the past four decades from attack by poachers and wild animals as well as accidents like drowning in lakes and rivers.

Conservationists honoured
US-based global animal welfare organisation International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
has honoured seven Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) employees among 17 other people for outstanding commitment to animal welfare and conservation. IFAW is marking 15 years of implementing and funding wildlife conservation activities in Kenya on the theme ‘Securing elephants for posterity’. IFAW activities range from restoration of Meru National Park to partnering with KWS in Tsavo and now in Amboseli.

A clear message
“In order to underline our determination to eradicate poaching, my Government shall burn the rest of the stockpile within this year. We hope the rest of the world will follow our action in the same manner. Our message must remain clear. Many of these tusks belonged to elephants which were slaughtered by criminals. We want future generations of Kenyans, Africans and the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent beasts. Poachers and their enablers will not have the last word.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the burning of 15 tonnes of ivory in Nairobi National Park on 3 March 2015.

Fast Facts about the Chimpanzee
1 Chimpanzees are one of humans’ closest living relatives, sharing 98 per cent of our genetic blueprint.
2 Millions of chimpanzees used to live throughout equatorial Africa, from southern Senegal through Central Africa to western Tanzania. At the turn of the 20th century they numbered between 1 and 2 million. Now there are estimated to be fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild.
3 Chimpanzees have disappeared from four African countries, and are nearing extinction in many others. Deforestation and commercial hunting for bushmeat are the main causes for the decline in numbers.
4 one of the few animal species that can make and use tools, as discovered by Jane Goodall in 1960.
5 The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is the only place to view chimpanzees in Kenya. The facility was established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa.