Three convicted poachers will serve 48 years in prison after being found guilty of poaching and slaughtering 187 Dik Diks in Tsavo East National Park.
On Monday, July 5, the Voi Law Court sentenced each of the poachers to 16 years in prison.
The poachers were also fined Ksh 2.2 million, according to the court’s decision.
On Monday, June 21, Kaviha Charo, Katana Unda, and Bugo Suluhu were detained and charged after they were found in possession of the dead Dik Diks on Saturday, June 19 in the Akales region of Galana Ranch in Kilifi County.
They were prosecuted before Principal Magistrate Cecilia Kithinji and pled guilty to three charges of dealing with animal carcasses, possessing wildlife trophies, and transporting hunting weapons in a protected region.
The accused were discovered in possession of 596 kg of game meat which came from the slaughtered Dik Diks.
Police also discovered the suspects in possession of hunting weapons. Ten hunting sirens, various batteries, five machetes, five motorcycles, fourteen lamps, and clothing are among the materials.
‘Am A Minor’
Suluhu stated that he was a minor during the plea hearing in the case involving poaching of 187 Dik Diks. As a result, Prosecutor Lilian Moke asked the court for more time to collect Suluhu’s birth certificate and school report.
She said that an age evaluation performed at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi determined that the accused is 23 years old, despite his parents’ claims that he is 16.
Following Suluhu’s assertion that he was a minor, the magistrate directed prosecutors to determine his true age. She also stated that the court was awaiting a report from the probation department before sending the trio to prison.
“Before delivering punishment, we will wait to ascertain the factual age of the third accused person,” she stated.
Dealing with wildlife carcasses violates sections 96 (1) and 105 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013.
What Are Dik Diks
The dik dik is a small antelope with a shoulder height of 30–40 centimetres, a length of 50–70 centimetres, a weight of 3–6 kilos, and a lifespan of up to ten years.
Dik-diks get their name from the alarm calls they make to females.
Males have ringed and robust horns at the base, which are frequently hidden by a tuft of hair on the forehead. These antelopes have huge, black eyes that are bordered by a white ring.
And, while their eyes are gorgeous, they do more than just offer sight. The preorbital glands are seen as a black patch beneath the inside corner of each eye.
These glands secrete a black, sticky substance that they utilize to scent-mark their territory.
Their elongated snout is their most recognizable characteristic, since it is also an evolved cooling system that prevents them from overheating, even in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F). This also reduces their water use.