Letter to the Editor of the
East African Standard, Nairobi
(published only in the print edition of 10. Jan. 2006)
I was surprised to read Dr
Loefler's article re trade in wildlife, especially as he is a former
chairman of the East African Wildlife Society.
I do agree that there are
some zoos in the world that are excellent, but they are few and
even the "excellent" ones have grey areas where some species
Captive bred animals can
adapt well to a life in a zoo when they have known no other and they are allowed
to indulge to some extent in their natural behaviour patterns, but wild
trapped animals are different. Wild animals natural survival
instincts tell them strongly to beware of man. The stress they go
through during trapping, crating and being unable to flee from the
proximity of man is enormous and should not be undertaken lightly
and without good reason. Many animals die either during capture and
transportation, or if they survive live very short unhappy lives in
I cannot agree with Dr
Loefler that trade in wildlife increases their value and provides
incentives for conservation. I have seen giraffes standing in pens in
zoos looking listless and dejected, an orang utang in a small cage
drinking its own urine much to the disgust of the people staring at
it (they do not do that in their natural habitats), and other animals
"just there", as my sons who grew up seeing animals in their
natural habitat in Kenya, remarked when I took them to see a zoo in
UK. To the majority of people zoos are an amusing day out nothing
more. And scientific research can only be of real value in an animal's
It is fashionable these days
to critisise groups that speak up for animals' rights and
welfare and who try to protect them from the excesses of mankind,
perhaps because the truth of what they say makes people
uncomfortable. It is true that some fanatics in the animal rights scene
have gone overboard and to some extent take away from the credibility of
serious animal welfare groups. However in our "only humans and
profit matters" materialistic world, animals as sentient beings
need a voice to protect them.
The private "zoo"
in question in Thailand is in fact a fun park and from information
gathered the animals will be under spotlights all night with lots of
people staring at them. A nightmare for the poor beasts.
Wild animals belong in
the wild. In zoos they lose their dignity and lustre. The attraction of
game parks is animals in their natural surroundings living their
natural lives, not just being able to say "I have seen a buffalo".
Talking about exporting
wildlife to zoos and how it has benefited Kenya does not ring true.
In fact wildlife films are what have brought most tourists to Kenya
not animals in zoos. We should respect the wild animals and protect them
as a valuable national heritage - and leave them alone. The
planet is not only for humans.
Director of Animal Welfare,
Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals
(N.B. Dr. Imre Loeffler tried to bring the trophy hunters of Safari Club
International through the East African Wildlife Society back to Kenya).
ECOTERRA Intl. was
interviewed before for the BBC Thai Service, broadcasting into the most
remote village in Thailand. We openly could speak our mind and believe
that not only the Thai journalist-lady, who led the interview, got the
message clearly but actually she and most of her listeners understood
and became sympatic to the struggle.
We are very happy that our friends in Thailand stand as strong as the
core group of the Coalition against the Thai Wildlife Deal in Kenya. The
incident on Thai TV (see below) was reported widely in the Thai and
That Plodrasop, the henchman of PM Thaksin, who got blood on his hands
not only from wild animals, became physically aggressive against our
Thai friends and wildlife defenders, does not make us wonder. He has no
words any more. We wonder only when finally HRH the King of Thailand
puts some leach on this roge fellow and his master.
traded over animals deal
Story by RICHARD CHESOS and Agencies
Publication Date: 12/24/2005
The controversy over the
planned shipping of Kenya's wildlife to Thailand has spilled over to the
A television debate on the
plan to move 175 animals to a zoo in northern Thailand ended in blows
when proponents attacked animal welfare activists, officials said
The scuffle came in the wake
of protests by conservationists in Thailand opposed to the proposal to
import the animals from Kenya to the Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo.
Their counterparts in Kenya
have also opposed the deal.
On Tuesday, the High Court
stopped the deal until a case by two wildlife conservation groups was
Mr Justice Joseph Nyamu said
the memorandum of understanding signed by ministers from the two
countries might not amount to a treaty.
The controversial deal was
sealed on November 9 by Tourism and Wildlife minister Morris Dzoro and
Thailand's Natural Resources and Environment minister Yongyut Tiyapairat.
President Kibaki and Thai
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra witnessed the signing of the deal at
State House, Nairobi.
The wildlife debate was
technically stopped in Kenya after the CBO Consortium and the Kenya
Society for the Protection and Care of Animals moved to court last week.
However, in Thailand, as
soon as the broadcast of the heated debate aired on Thursday night ended,
two men rushed at two activists and punched them in the face, said Mr
Nikom Putra, one of the conservationists.
The fracas lasted several
minutes before studio workers could get the situation under control.
Mr Putra said he planned to
lodge a complaint with police.
Studio workers, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said the zoo head, Prodprasob Surasawadee rose
from his chair, pointing at the faces of the two conservationists and
asking: "What do you want?"
Earlier, Kenya had said it
would give the animals to Thailand as a gift to strengthen relations,
but conservationists voiced concern about how the animals would be
affected by the move.
Local and international
conservationists have also accused the Kenya government of shipping the
animals abroad for money, something it has denied.
Among the animals set for
export include buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, flamingoes, dik diks,
impalas, warthogs, hyenas, antelopes, zebras and marabou storks.
conservationists have opposed the export of the wild animals, saying it
is wrong for the country to sell its national heritage.
However, Thai ambassador to
Kenya Akrasid Amatayakul said recently the deal would be effected only
after it was approved by an international convention.
'assaulted by Plodprasop aides'
Tempers flare at TV
debate on Night Safari
Two conservationists yesterday complained they were assaulted by aides
of Plodprasop Suraswadi, assistant to the minister of natural resources
and the environment on Thursday night. Chaiyaphan Prapasawat, of the
Love Chiang Mai Network, and Nikhom Puttha, of Wildlife Fund Thailand,
said the incident took place after they had a heated debate with Mr
Plodprasop over the controversial Night Safari project during a popular
television programme, Tueng Look Tueng Khon, on Channel 9.
Mr Plodprasop attended the TV programme in his capacity as director of
Night Safari. The debate focussed on the export of wildlife from Kenya
which was eventually suspended by a Kenyan court.
As the programme was about to end, Mr Chaiyaphan read a poem, which
imitated zoo animals wailing in distress at the night-time zoo. The
activist said Mr Plodprasop was apparently offended by the poem, earlier
published in Khao Sod newspaper.
As soon as the lights were dimmed, Mr Plodprasop and his aides stormed
towards the two activists who were still seated. Mr Chaiyaphan said some
of the aides scolded him and pushed him in the chest. Others dragged Mr
Nikhom from his seat.
Before the fracas escalated, cameramen and TV crew stepped in and
separated the two sides.
Mr Chaiyaphan said he and Mr Nikhom would be lodging a complaint with
police yesterday evening. It was unclear if Mr Plodprasop was being
implicated in the complaint.
The conservationist said he punched one of the men in self-defence.
''It appeared Mr Plodprasop wanted to assault me himself but his son
stopped him from doing so. Why do we have an assistant to a minister
with such violent behaviour?,'' said Mr Chaiyaphan.
The TV crew confirmed the assault, which was tape-recorded.
The crew also noted the number of Mr Plodprasop's aides was abnormally
high at more than 10.
Mr Plodprasop could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mr Nikhom, meanwhile, urged senior state officials to show maturity when
facing enquiries from the public. He said the public had every right to
learn what the state was doing, adding the Night Safari project, in
particular, was questionable in many respects.
Meanwhile, the Love Chiang Mai Network condemned Mr Plodprasop and his
aides for their gangland-style behaviour. It also called on the TV crew
who witnessed the incident to hand over their tape to authorities for
The Love Chiang Mai Network would also file a complaint with the
Administrative Court, asking it to suspend the project until its
environmental impact was thoroughly studied.
served court orders barring Thai deal
22. 12. 2005
By Vincent Musumba
Wildlife assistant Minister Kalembe Ndile was yesterday served with a
court injunction halting the intended translocation of 175 wild animals
served by lawyer Ojwang’ Agina of Agina and Company Advocates and
National CBO Council chairman, Tom Aosa.
The event took
place at the ministry’s Utalii House offices at 3 pm.
Ndile said the matter would be forwarded to the Attorney-General for
However, he was
reluctant to stamp the court order papers.
“We will not hurry to make a decision because of the impending case.
The papers are in good hands.”
Council chair, Tom Aosa described the court order as ‘the best
end-year gift to all Kenyans and a reason to celebrate Christmas.’
the order we have achieved a tremendous leap towards achieving the goal
of halting this insult to our delicate biodiversity. We won’t allow
our animals to be mistreated”, he noted.
He promised not
to relent until justice is done and added that the court’s decision
was a clear indication that someone was listening to them.
The order stays
for sixty days, during which period the government cannot move or export
translocation was supposed to take place immediately after the signing
of the memorandum.
A ruling on
Tuesday by High Court judge Justice Joseph Nyamu ordered that the
application be certified as urgent.
gets court order halting Thai wildlife deal
Story by NATION Correspondent
Publication Date: 12/22/2005
Assistant minister Kalembe
Ndile has been served with a court order halting the export 175 wild
animals to Thailand.
The deal has been put on
hold until a case by two wildlife conservation groups, the National CBO
Consortium and the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals,
A Nairobi-based advocate, Mr
Ojwang Agina, served the order on Mr Ndile at his Utalii House office at
3 pm yesterday.
Mr Agina, who was
accompanied by the consortium's chairman, Mr Tom Aosa, had first walked
into the ministry's spokesman's office where he was told that Tourism
and Wildlife minister Morris Dzoro was not in and could therefore not be
served with the order.
The two then walked into Mr
Ndile's office where Mr Agina served the Wildlife assistant minister
with the order.
Mr Agina requested Mr Ndile
to rubber-stamp it as proof that he had received it. To which Mr Kalembe
retorted: "I don't need to rubber-stamp the document since these
journalists are recording the event...They are my witnesses that I have
Mr Agina then drew Mr
Ndile's attention to a penal notice in the order which stated that if Mr
Dzoro disobeyed the order, then he would be held in contempt of court
and action would be taken against him. The lawyer said he was pleased to
meet Mr Ndile and wished him a merry Christmas .
The order was granted by
Judge Joseph Nyamu on Tuesday after saying he was satisfied that the
memorandum of understanding between Kenya and Thailand might not amount
to a treaty. Courts cannot review treaties unless the provisions are
incorporated in Kenyan laws or passed as Acts of Parliament.
Mr Dzoro and Thai Natural
Resources and Environment minister Yongyut Tiyapairat signed the animal
transfer deal on November 9.
wildlife deal stopped
21. 12. 2005
By John Osoro
THE High Court
yesterday barred the government from translocating 175 animals to the
Kingdom of Thailand.
The court put
on hold the intended translocation pending the hearing of an application
by a group of wildlife conservationists.
Nyamu said the applicants had raised “an arguable case that needs to
be heard” before the action by the concerned ministry commence.
agreed with the applicants’ submissions that the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) entered into between the Ministry of Tourism and
Wildlife and its Thailand counterpart cannot be translated into a treaty.
He said the MoU
does not make any references to any of the international laws in its
guideline for implementation.
granted the leave period for 60 days, which would be extended depending
on the defendants’ wish in their defence.
issues raised by the conservationists groups are heard inter partes and
determined, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife shall remain barred
from implementing the said MoU.
The lobby group
says in their application that the MoU signed by the parties violated
the laws of environmental and conservation management.
- Self Help Community Based Organisation (CBO) and Kenya Society for the
Protection of Care for Animals - says that the Minister for Tourism and
Wildlife and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) had no powers to enter into an
agreement with the Minister for Natural Resources and Environment of the
Kingdom of Thailand over the translocation of the animals.
conservationists, say the defendants, had breached the Wildlife
halts Thai wildlife export deal
21. 12. 2005
By Judy Ogutu
The High Court has halted
the controversial export of animals to Thailand.
Justice Joseph Nyamu issued
temporary orders suspending the deal, signed at State House, Nairobi, on
November 9. President Kibaki and Thailand Prime minister Thaksin
Shanawatra’s signed a deal under which 175 wild animals were to be
shipped to the Asian country.
The then Foreign Affairs
minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere signed the Memorandum of Understanding on
behalf of Kenya and his Thailand counterpart Dr Kantathi Suphamongkhon
on behalf of his country.
Nyamu’s order will be
operational for 60 days and the court reserves the discretion to extend
it. He also gave the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care for
Animals and two lobbies the go-ahead to seek orders prohibiting the
Minister for Tourism and Wildlife from shipping the animals to the Asian
The animals include giraffes,
flamingoes, hippos, zebras, warthogs, dik-diks, impalas, buffaloes,
gazelles, hyenas and jackals.
Nairobi CBO Consortium and
Thomas Ondiba Aosa were also given the green light to seek for orders
quashing the decision to export the assorted game.
When the matter came up
first, Justice Nyamu said the MoU signed between the two countries was a
treaty. He postponed the hearing to give all parties an opportunity to
satisfy the court whether the MoU was a treaty.
The minister and the Kenya
Wildlife Services, an interested party, did not attend the hearing on
Tuesday, forcing the court to proceed without them. The applicants,
through their lawyer, Mbugua Mureithi argued that the MoU was not a
A treaty, he added, was an
international agreement between states and was governed by international
"The object of the
treaty is to create binding relations between the parties to it. The MoU
is non-binding. The scope of co-operation is subjected to laws of the
respective countries in accordance with regulations in force,"
The deal, he added, was an
arrangement for mutual development assistance.
Nyamu said the applicants
had, on prima facie basis, satisfied the court that the agreement
between the two nations might not be a treaty.
The three filed the suit on
December 14, saying the minister had commenced steps to identify,
capture and move the assorted wildlife animals pursuant to the MoU where
the minister undertook to move the animals for custody in zoos in
While giving the orders, the
judge also directed them to file and serve the application as prescribed.
He warned that failure to do so, the order would lapse.
halts animal sale to Thailand
Story by JILLO KADIDA
Publication Date: 12/21/2005
The High Court yesterday
stopped the deal to export 175 wild animals to Thailand until a case by
two wildlife conservation groups is heard.
Granting the order, Judge
Joseph Nyamu said he was satisfied the memorandum of understanding
between Kenya and Thailand might not amount to a treaty.
The 60-day order arose from
an application by the National CBO Consortium and the Kenya Society for
the Protection and Care of Animals, who demanded a stop to relocating
assorted animals to Thai zoos in line with a reported deal between
ministers of the two countries.
When the case was filed last
week, the judge declined to order a stop, saying the court was not keen
on interfering with a treaty.
The court could not review
treaties between countries, unless the provisions are incorporated in
Kenyan laws or passed as Acts of Parliament, he ruled.
The controversial deal was
sealed on November 9 by Tourism and Wildlife minister Morris Dzoro and
Thai Natural Resources and Environment minister Yongyut Tiyapairat.
And despite protests by
local and international wildlife conservationists – who said the
transfer would violate the animals' welfare – it was signed at State
House, Nairobi, as President Kibaki and Thai prime minister Thaksin
Lawyer Mbugua Mureithi told
the court that wildlife conservation and management was legally under
the Kenya Wildlife Service, and that the minister was required only to
give general or special directions to KWS. "The national heritage
should not be left to the disposal of one person or one arm of
government," he argued.
The deal was signed without
consulting the KWS, Parliament, other interested organs and the public,
he said, adding that identifying and capturing the animals had begun.
Yesterday Mr Justice Nyamu
noted that the issues raised by the applicants were of national
After hearing both parties,
the judge said the applicants had argued points which defined treaties,
and had argued that only KWS was authorised to say whether the animals
can be exported.
Text / Text in Deutsch
KENYA WILDLIFE WILL
WTN - 20. December 2005 - 11h00 - Nairobi -
The steadfast core group
of the Kenya Coalition and the International Alliance Against the
Kenya/Thailand Wildlife Deal achieved a major breakthrough this morning
at the High Court in Nairobi / Kenya:
The court ruled, that the Kenyan Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, who
signed the deal to export 175 wild animals from the free wildlands of
Kenya into a fun-fair and zoo facility in Thailand, as well as the Kenya
Wildlife Service, who would have to do the job, can not lay their hands
on the wildlife and can not capture or export any wildlife to Thailand.
Likewise any other capture or export by owners of private wildlands or
ranches would be illegal.
The coming festive season will not see capture-gangs combing the world
famous wildlands of Kenya with their splendid savannas and woodlands and
unique wildlife populations for easy prey. The peaceful nature will not
be disturbed by helicopters with darting vets on board. And the
defenders of wildlife also can stay in peace - at least for the near
If you want to receive this free article in full as well as further
insider information on this issue, please e-mail to africanode(at)ecoterra.net
or reply to this mail with Request Thai Info in the reference
Stage Protest Over Thai Wildlife Gift
East African Standard (Nairobi)
Posted to the web December 16, 2005
500 members of the Maasai community yesterday held a demonstration in
Narok to protest the Government's decision to export 175 wild animals to
they were the gatekeepers of the wild animals since they had lived with
and protected them since time immemorial and asked the government to
consult the concerned communities before proceeding with the scheme.
twigs and chanting anti-Government slogans, the group said the State
should not take any animals from Narok District for the deal.
chairman of the Narok Communities pressure group, Mr Moses Nkoriompai,
said the Government had ran out of ideas on how to make money and had
turned to selling off the national heritage.
the Government was reneging on its policies on wildlife conservation,
and warned that exporting game would damage Kenya's reputation and lead
to a decline in tourist numbers.
the demonstrators at Oloontoto Primary School in Rereshwa near the
Maasai Mara Game Park, Nkoriompai said exporting the animals would be
memorandum signed by 15,000 residents of Narok District, the chairman
said it was wrong to shut up a free-range animal in a zoo.
the process of capturing wild animals, caging them and transporting them
over long distances was a procedure that should only be undertaken when
the process could result in excessive stress to the animals and even
Quntai, the chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Conservation and Management
Network, said the notion that there were excess animals in the country
the wild animal population has been falling over the years due to
illegal bush meat trade, encroachment on parks and reserves and excision
to a report by the Department of Resource Survey and Remote Sensing in
2004, Kenya's wildlife population declined by 40 to 60 per cent between
1977 and 1994, said Quntai.
the massive decline is estimated to be higher due to increased human
populations and activities in the animal areas.
wildlife has evolved in our environment for hundreds of thousands of
years and it is dangerous to take the animals to alien lands where they
are likely to be susceptible to fatal diseases," he said.
said the Government should encourage tourism in the country to fight
poverty instead of promoting its growth elsewhere.
step ahead against Kenya/Thai wildlife deal
- Kenyans, incl. two
Kenyan organizations, went to court to stop the dreadful wildlife deal
with a Thai fun-fair zoo -
WTN - correspondents - Nairobi /
Bangkok - 14.12.2005
"Enough is enough!", said
Kenyans, and have now applied to the courts in Nairobi, Kenya to end the
dreadful saga about the ill-conceived wildlife deal with a Thai zoo,
which is based on a simple and not legally binding Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) between two ministers. Such a declaration of intent,
however, can not be misinterpreted as an international treaty between
the two states, as some might try to suggest in order to derail the
process against the deal or to helplessly safe the face of government
A treaty is a legally binding agreement under international
law concluded by subjects of international law, namely states.
A treaty is for example the long-running treaty for British soldiers to
train in Kenya, which is just now in a stage, where a majority of Kenyan
parliamentarians question if Kenya should prolong it.
A memorandum of
understanding (MoU) is a legal document describing an agreement
between parties. It is a more formal alternative to a gentlemen's
agreement, but less formal than a contract.
Examples of simple MoUs -
like the Kenya/Thailand deal - include e.g.the Oil
for Food program, for which Iraq
signed a MoU in 1996,
and which has seen a senior UN official being suspended for corruption
as well as the son of UN Secretary General Kofi A. Annan being
implicated, and which has therefore undergone many changes to the
original text. The recently signed Kenya/Thailand MoU therefore can
likewise easily be amended or relieved of certain parts - like the now
contested wildlife deal contained therein.
The Kenya Society for the
Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA) and the Council of Community
Based Organizations (CBO Council), both representing the majority of
Kenyan citizens who are against the capture of free ranging wild animals
from the Kenya wildlands and their deportation into the man-made
confinement within a disputed Thai fun-fair facility, must be applauded
for this step, because they actually also contribute in terms of control
of damage to the reputation of both countries. But as further this issue
is pushed by certain government officials in the service of either side
of the deal, as more economic and face loss is created.
The constant and desperate pushing by the Thai Ambassador to Kenya,
however, to get the Kenyan governance moving in terms of capturing now
175 wild animals for the Thai night zoo in Chiang Mai against the will
of the Kenyan people is contradicting what Thai Senator Senator Pensak
Chagsuchinda (Howitz) stated publicly during her visit to the country.
The Senator, who was accompanied by Senator Niboon Shamshoum on a fact
finding mission, had proclaimed profoundly that it was not in the
interest of the Thai Government to insist on getting wildlife delivered
The senators admitted that their Prime Minister was looking for animals
for that private facility in Chianmai, in which he has personal stakes,
but they declared that, if the Kenyan people were not in agreement, they
would not force the "donation" and would advise the Thai
senate to restrict their PM in his dealings of such kind. Apparently the
opposite of what was laid out by the senators is true and therefore the
persistent pressure by the Thai official shows nothing less than the
disrespect of the will of the Kenyan people. That certainly is not a
good base for the proclaimed "friendship" between the two so
different states and their people.
That the Kenyan people are ready to stand up for their wildlife has been
not only clearly shown by the numerous protest rallies of various
peoples in the country and the present legal challenge but even through
a TV documentary delivering the numerous arguments of the wildlife
conservation groups, which was aired by Reuters also into the far
corners of Thailand and therefore made it known to the Thai people
themselves. Even though the Thai senators did not succeed to have their
PM reprimanded by the senate so far, the Thai organizations are urged to
step up their side of the protest and to support the head of the Thai
senate's environmental committee, Kaewsan Atipho, who want their house
to become clean and to scrap the wildlife deal.
The wanted friendship between the people of both countries involved is
also not changed with fake "letters to the editor",
publicizing in local newspapers the opinion of staged pro-deal
supporters allegedly writing from China or elsewhere. All the
manipulation will only worsen the rift between the people of Kenya and
Thailand and bring more supporters to the internationally called for
boycott of Thailand's wares and services.
In order to show their real friendship with the people of Kenya, the
Thai governance should have since long stopped to pressurize the
Government of Kenya for these animals from the wild, not at least
because the Kenyans actually have different and more severe problems at
this time after a referendum rejected the proposed new constitution and
a deep rift between governance and people's will.
The Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, who had received during the
last 10 days twice delegations from the international and the national
consortia of organizations, who stand and protest against that deal, had
in addition to the numerous legal, ethic, economic, and moral arguments
against the proposal outlined in the MoU, to hear eye-witness reports
from people who actually had visited the Thai zoos and reported that
animals are kept there under the most horrible conditions. One witness
spoke of the worst zoo ever she visited anywhere in her
entire life and that in Thailand she saw even a majestic tiger, who was
not only just kept in a tiny cage, where he couldn't turn, but in
addition was chained inside that cell.
The arguments against that shabby Kenya/Thai wildlife-deal are numerous
and the background of the whole story are at least dubious, as one can
study on the website of an international wildlife protection
If the Thais really wanted to show true friendship to the Kenyans, they
would abstain from insisting on the wildlife-deal outlined in that
memorandum, which hangs like the sword of Damocles over the wild animals
of Kenya in their free wildlands. The Thai government representatives
could concentrate on actually helping Kenya without such shady deals and
without that they force poor local organizations to engage in costly and
time consuming campaigns and legal battles to restrain those who believe
they could get benefits out of Kenyan wildlife, captured from the
wild and confined to a life behind bars or early death due to neglect
and distress during the shipment as well as inside Thailand.
And if the Thai people really would care about the plight of Kenyans and
their state they would by all means stop their government officials to
engage in such shameful exercises and force them to offer true help
without selfish and greedy agendas. Kenyans therefore hope that their
true soul-mates in Thailand will now likewise turn up the heat and force
the Thai officials to come clean.
Kenyans stand as one people against the capture of even one animal from
the wildlands of Africa and its transfer into that night-zoo in
Thailand, like they stand against the capture and transport of any
African girl into a brothel in Bangkok. The abduction of wild animals
from Kenya to Thailand also must be seen in the context of bio-piracy
and openly violates the Biodiversity Convention, which actually is a
treaty to which both countries are signatories.
Kenyans feel that it would be the biggest shame to allow such also
because 19 men on official duty to defend Kenyan wildlife were felled by
the merciless bullets of unscrupulous wildlife killers and murderers
since 1990 alone and many more in the years before. The death of these
honourable men would have been meaningless and useless, if what they
defended on behalf of all Kenyans and the natural world heritage at
large, could just be signed away today.
Kenyans do also not support the shady deals of some politicians on both
sides either, who seem to have an additional, hidden agenda in their
co-operation and they speak out against those Kenyan parliamentarians,
who just want to buy for Kenya a seat at the UN Security Council and try
for this task to gain the support of foreign civil servants by
intransparent measures like "pleasing" Thai officials with the
signing away of Kenyan wildlife into a private zoo in Chiangmai. And
neither do they support the apparent private business-relationships of
officials like Thai PM Thaksin, who in his business life is a mobile
phone and communications tycoon, with former Kenyan Communications
Minister Raphael Tuju, who was now even promoted as Minister of Foreign
Affairs by the embattled NARC government of Kenya's President Kibaki.
But while in Thailand even His Royal Highness The King of Thailand
Bhumibol Adulyadej has granted leave to his citizens to criticize Thai
Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, already death-threats are issued in
Kenya to people, who only defend their natural heritage and stand
against the cruel export of wildlife from their homelands into an
appalling zoo-facility in Thailand, which triggered an international
call to boycott Thailand over this.
The boycott of Thailand - that is for sure - and maybe in future also
Kenya has gained now another boost.
© WTN 2005
Picture: © Copyright
Thai wildlife deal
15. 12. 2005
By John Osoro
conservationists yesterday moved to court seeking to stop the government
from translocating 175 animals to the Kingdom of Thailand.
groups want a memorandum of understanding entered into between the
government of Kenya and Thailand stayed until their application is heard
— Self-Help Community Based Organisation (CBO) and Kenya Society for
the Protection of Care for Animals — say that the Minister for Tourism
and Wildlife and Kenya Wildlife Service had no powers to enter into an
agreement with the Minister for Natural Resources and Environment of the
Kingdom of Thailand over the translocation of the animals.
conservationists say in their suit papers that the defendants had
breached the Wildlife Conservation Act by allowing to donate and
translocate the wildlife to a foreign country.
in their application filed under a certificate of urgency say the
respondents undertook to offer the animals without following the laid
down procedures as contained in the Environmental Management and
Coordination Act, 1999.
provides that the government of Kenya ought to have assessed the impact
caused by the translocation on the biological diversity on the parks and
other areas where the animals might be removed to.
They say that
the respondents ought to have submitted such report to National
Environmental Management Authority as required under the Act.
supported by an affidavit by the CBO Chairman Mr Tom Ondiba Aosa,
further points out that the action by the defendants to donate and
translocate the animals to zoos in the Kingdom of Thailand contravenes
the International Trade in Endangered Species of wildlife.
He said the
agreement was entered without following the procedures that regulate
translocation of such animals from their natural habitat.
applicants appeared before Justice Joseph Nyamu, they sought the
court’s intervention over the purported MoU entered into between
Kenyan Minister for Tourism and his counterpart from Thailand.
through their lawyer Mbugua Mureithi, submitted that procedure was not
followed when the said MoU was signed.
however, ordered the applicants to serve the application to the
respondents and directed that the matter be heard inter partes on
Mr Aosa says
that the defendants ought to have obtained approval from Parliament
before the deal could be entered.
further wants the decision entered on November 9, 2005 be stopped until
the suit filed against the respondents is heard and determined.
ask court to stop wild animals deal
Story by WAHOME THUKU
Publication Date: 12/15/2005
Two wildlife conservation
lobby groups have moved to court to stop the export of wild animals to
Nairobi CBO Consortium, and
Kenya Society for the Protection and Care for Animals filed an
application at the Nairobi High Court and were allowed to sue the
Government over the deal.
But the court declined to
grant their request to stop relocation of assorted animals to Thai zoos
over an agreement between the two countries.
After hearing the
submissions by their lawyer, Mr Mbugua Mureithi, judge Joseph Nyamu said
the court would not be keen to interfere with a treaty between two
The court could not review
treaties between countries unless the provisions were incorporated in
the Kenyan laws or passed as Acts of Parliament, he ruled.
The controversial agreement
was sealed on November 9 by Tourism and Wildlife minister Morris Dzoro
and the Thai minister for Natural Resources and Environment Yongyut
Tiyapairat. It was signed despite protests by the local and
international wildlife conservationists, who claimed the transfer would
violate the animals' welfare.
It was signed at State
House, Nairobi, in the presence of President Mwai Kibaki and Thai Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Mr Mbugua told the court
that the conservation and management of the wildlife was legally under
the Kenya Wildlife Service and the minister was only required to give
general or special directions to the KWS director.
"The national heritage
of this country should not be left to the disposal of one person or one
arm of the Government," he argued.
He said the deal was signed
without consulting the KWS, Parliament, other interested organisations
or the public.
The process of identifying
and capturing the animals for export to Thailand had began, the court
Judge Nyamu noted that the
issues raised by the applicants were of national importance. He asked
them to serve the documents to the minister and the KWS so that the
other parties could go and argue on how the court would treat the
memorandum. The case will be heard on December 20.
Picture: © Copyright
sue over Thai game deal
Wednesday December 14, 2005
By Judy Ogutu and Renson
the decision to export 175 animals to a zoo in Thailand has spilled over
to the courts.
The Kenya Society for the
Protection and Care for Animals and two other organisations have filed a
suit seeking to stop the deal.
The three applicants want
the court to issue an order temporarily stopping the deal reached in a
Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments on November 9,
The lobby group, Nairobi
CBO Consortium and Thomas Ondiba Aosa wants the court to give them the
go-ahead to seek for orders prohibiting the Minister of Tourism and
Wildlife from shipping the animals to the Asian country. The Kenya
Wildlife Service was named in the suit as an interested party.
The applicants also want
the court’s permission to quash the decision to export the assorted
animals from Kenya to Thailand.
In an urgent application,
their lawyer Mbugua Mureithi says the minister has commenced steps to
identify, capture and move the animals.
Justice Joseph Nyamu
declined to issue any orders, but directed the parties to serve the suit
papers and appear before him on December 20 for an inter parties hearing.
Meanwhile more than 1,000
residents of Mwatate Division in Taita Taveta District on Wednesday
demonstrated against the intended export of the animals.
Led by Youths for
Conservation Programme official, Joseph Righa, the residents asked
President Kibaki to shelve the programme and consult widely.
‘’Tourism is an
integral part of Kenya’s economy and we must keep our wildlife as
protected heritage for our own benefits,’’ said Mr Wilson Mwangombe,
the Kenya Wildlife and Conservation and Management Network co-ordinator.
should stay off the “Thai animal deal”
PRESS RELEASE: Sunday, December 11, 2005
The newly appointed Assistant Minister for Wildlife Hon. Richard Kalembe
Ndile is well known for flouting the golden rule of silence. By engaging
his questionable sanity in commenting on matters he knows so little
about, he leaves no doubt that he has little or no academic breeding.
With all due respect, the appointment of such a person into the
sensitive docket of wildlife, is an insult to the communities that have
fought so hard and engaged in collective conservation effort.
His spiteful remarks on the day of his appointment is proof that his
work ethics have been groomed by the streets and the manner of
disseminating his duties is uncouth, uncivil, and inconclusive.
Kalembe’s elevation to such a sensitive docket should have been a
point of information to his intelligent self that his street days of
illiterate philosophies are over. He should have probably been oriented
into a new kind of responsible thinking to prepare him for the duty of
Hon. Kalembe should at least be wise enough to steer clear the
scandalous wild life sale that is being masqueraded as a “gift’ or
he will find his hands mired in the pools of mud he knows so little
addition, he should have been by now aware that his statements are
reflective of government policy and any more garbled utterances will be
construed as the final government word.
Developments in the "Animal for Aid Scandal"
Hon Kalembe Ndile blatant ignorance of issues preceding and developing
through the Thai Animal Export deal makes him oblivious of the fact that
his boss, the Minister of tourism Hon. Morris Dzorro, had no mandate to
sign the MOU with the government of Thailand, since in his capacity he
did not consult extensively with parliament, the peoples representatives
and community based conservation groups, the community’s pointers of
In our first communiqué from the Ministry of Tourism, the government
promised to consult widely before committing the country to this deals.
It later emerged in the public forums that even the pre-analysis in
conducted by the delegation led by the Permanent Secretary and the KWS
representatives were half baked and Scandalous. It is in the public
Domain that Thai’s Zoos are ranked lowest in the treatment of Animals.
These Zoos have often been mentioned in scandals of international
magnitude, to the extent of CITES almost Expelling Thai from its
Since the government sought not to consult parliament or the public, on
whose behalf did the Hon. Minister enter an agreement with
? Opinions poll conducted by a credible firm recently provided 69%
against the Thai Deals.
The government has refused to quantify the economic gains we stand to
accrue through this deal. It is noted that President Kibaki is as keen
to pound his authority on the Kenyan community as his Thai counterpart
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who has evicted the Akha tribe from
their own heritage to build his Zoo.
Kenyans will not tolerate such dictatorial tendency and the National CBO
Council will marshal all like minded forces to coordinate both legal
redress and a mass protest of communities.
Let the Government know especially through Hon. Kalembe Ndile, that
communities will not sleep and all Consortium members will keep watch
until the government recede its decision to sell off our Precious
appointments a National ignominy
subjecting Kenyans to two weeks of waiting with bated breath, Kibaki’s
Reconstituted Cabinet is a big disappointment. The expectation that
President Kibaki will reconstitute a cabinet adorned with integrity and
professionalism must have been far fetched. He never, even by a stride,
departed from the practice of his predecessors of using cabinet
appointments as rewards to sycophants and cronies towing the executive
The promise that the development agenda will be prioritized over any
other consideration; is a mirage that has been shifting since the
initial promise of a lean professional cabinet. The unveiling of the new
cabinet and the fact that it is bedeviled by a handful of people of
questionable integrity: marred by scandalous individuals, dragged by old
retirees and subjected to people who have strangled the voice of reason
by their sheer arrogance; is proof that Kibaki, by a stroke of the pen,
has returned us to the dark days of political patronage.
Hence the dictates of common sense informs us to expect no record
breaking development, but an uneasy quite rule of a cabinet overshadowed
by the fear of expressing contrary opinion for dread of a backlash.
The bulk of the new Kibaki team is a congregate of sycophants,
conformists, semi-literate and incompetent distorted loyalists. Their
only qualification is their false allegiance to the unpopular Wako Draft.
Is this the team that is expected to deliver?
for: NATIONAL CBO COUNCIL MEMBER
||The Chairman National
Community Based Organisations (CBO) Tom Aosa (left) addresses
journalists at their Nairobi offices yesterday. Seated right is
a council member Waiganjo.
Picture by Cornelius Madiga
Kenya wild game shipment
are furious that Kenya has signed a deal with Thailand to hand over some
175 animals from game parks.
Kenyan authorities stressed
none of the animals, including zebra, hippos and giraffe, would be
But animal rights groups
fear for the welfare of the animals during the 7,200km (4,470-mile)
Thailand has agreed to
provide wildlife management training and technical support. The Kenyan
press is calling the deal the "animals-for-aid" scandal.
The International Animal
Fund for Animal Welfare says selling off "Kenya's national heritage"
was setting a dangerous precedent.
'Stress and injury'
Kenyan government spokesman
Alfred Mutua told Reuters news agency that they were animals that the
country had in abundance.
He said no rhinos or any
animals protected under the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (Cites) would be sent to Thailand.
He gave no date for the
shipment's departure, but said the number of animals had been reduced
from the 300 initially planned.
The animals will be sent to
a zoo in the home town of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which
is scheduled to open in April.
The deal was announced
during Mr Shinawatra's official visit to the east African state, the
first ever by a Thai prime minister.
Animal rights groups fear
that the deal - reported to be worth $500,000 will put the wild animals'
lives at risk and may threaten Kenya's tourist trade.
"We are concerned about the welfare of the
animals, and the stress and risk of injury and death in their capture
and transportation," Alice Owen of the London-based Born
Free Foundation told Reuters news agency.
deal with Thailand clarified
Story by NATION Reporter
Publication Date: 11/11/2005
The Government yesterday
laid bare the memorandum of understanding signed between Kenya and
Thailand over the sale of 175 wild animals.
It published a list of the
24 species involved and moved to dispel fears that it was giving away
endangered species such as black rhinos, lions, leopards and cheetahs,
which had sparked protests from animal conservationists.
Government spokesman Alfred
Mutua gave out the list yesterday at a news conference in his KICC
office and listed a number of economic benefits that Kenya would gain
from the deal.
Among these are the hiring
of English teachers from Kenya and the decision by the Thai government
to use Kenya as its economic hub for Africa.
He also published the MoU
and list of species on the newly launched Government spokesman's web
for anyone wishing to check it.
According to the list,
species to be exported include; topi, silver backed jackal, serval,
lesser flamingo, warthogs, yellow billed storks, Maasai giraffes,
reticulated giraffes, common zebras, greater kudu, marabou stork
(juvenile), common waterbuck, impala, Grant's gazelles, Thompson's
gazelles, crowned cranes, wildebeest, spotted hyenas, hippopotamus,
Kirk's dik dik, gerenuk and buffalo.
( please see our COPY
of the MEMORANDUM BETWEEN KENYA AND THAILAND !! )
Not undermining tourism
He said the Government had
taken into consideration issues raised by conservationists and viewed
them against the views of its own experts before arriving at the
"We are not undermining
our tourism sector. To the contrary, we expect a boom from Thailand. Wakionja
kidogo (when they taste it a little), they will want to see
the animals in their natural habitat and in their thousands," he
Dr Mutua told reporters that
the Government had considered the population of the species offered as
gifts and the economic value Kenya stood to gain in making the decision.
"The animal list is
made up of herbivorous animals. Endangered species such as lions,
leopards, the rhino, elephants and others are not being given. We are
giving them animals which we have plenty of," the spokesman said.
He gave a brief list of the
numbers being considered for some of the prominent species included in
While Thailand will foot the
cost of sending the animals to the Far East, Kenya Wildlife Service
experts will oversee their relocation to ensure that the animals are
comfortable in transit and in their new home in Thailand.
under fire over wild animals deal
Story by NATION Team
Publication Date: 11/11/2005
Outrage over the sale of
Kenya's wildlife to Thailand grew yesterday with one prominent minister
demanding that President Kibaki calls a Cabinet meeting to discuss the
Other MPs urged President
Kibaki to suspend the deal until Parliament reconvened to debate the
Cabinet minister William ole
Ntimama said such an important decision should not have been left to the
President and the minister for Tourism.
"This is not a simple
matter; it is a matter of international magnitude and an individual
should not be left to make such a big decision alone," he said.
And MP Mutula Kilonzo
accused the President of taking Kenyans for granted.
Mr Ntimama, a minister of
State, spoke out as visiting Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had
to be smuggled past conservationists protesting at the deal, when he
opened an exhibition at Nairobi's Village Market.
The conservationists were
joined by members of local communities who carried placards complaining
about the agreement, which will see 175 wild animals sold to a zoo in
Thailand for an estimated Sh80 million.
Police had allowed the
demonstrators, members of Youth for Conservation and the Kajiado
Wildlife Conservation Network, to line up at the entrance after they
promised to be peaceful. Dr Shinawatra was taken into the shopping mall
through another entrance.
However, he came
face-to-face with them and saw their placards as he left for Jomo
Kenyatta International Airport, where the President saw him off at
The Government spokesman,
reacting to the row, issued a list of the animals earmarked for exports,
which he said contained no endangered species like rhino, lions,
leopards and cheetahs.
Instead, it was made up
mostly of herbivores like gazelles, zebras and wildebeest, plus hippos
and some birds.
The list, together with
details of the deal were published on the Government's web site shortly
after the Orange No-vote campaign team stepped into the row, saying the
sale should be put on hold until after the referendum on the proposed
Constitution. Then Parliament should approve or reject it.
The group, which brings
together MPs from Kanu and the Liberal Democratic Party, condemned the
export deal as "selling Kenya's heritage".
In a statement read by the
No-team campaign chairman, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, the group said: "Our
animals are as important as human beings. Parliament must approve this
Mr Kilonzo accused President
Kibaki of "taking Kenyans for granted" by signing the
agreement without consulting the relevant institutions.
The nominated MP said the
President had unprocedurally returned Amboseli National Park to
Olkejuado County Council and was now "auctioning Kenya's
"He is trying to wind
up the country," he said.
Mr Kilonzo, who was
accompanied by MPs Reuben Ndolo (Makadara) and William Omondi (Kasarani),
asked people to oppose the decision.
And addressing a No campaign
rally in Narok Town yesterday, Mr Ntimama said he "smelt a
rat" because the communities surrounding game reserves were not
He demanded to know who
would benefit from the money from the sale, and describing the deal as
shoddy, he said it was likely to join a "catalogue of illegalities
and scandals" in the Narc Government.
Kenyans must be told in a
transparent and candid manner details of the deal, the minister said.
He added one of the main
reasons the Orange movement was opposed to the proposed Constitution was
because of the massive powers vested in the President to do as he wished.
Mr Ntimama said the
President was misusing his powers by taking unilateral decisions, which
affected the whole country.
The President should say
from which national reserve the animals would be taken and how the local
communities would benefit.
The move, he added, could
impact on income from tourism from the Far East because some potential
visitors would instead choose to see the animals in Thailand. And Gem MP
Jakoyo Midiwo, who accompanied Mr Ntimama, said that there was no way
the President could make such a big decision without convening the
It emerged yesterday that
the 175 animals to be taken to Thailand, apart from attracting visitors
to the Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo, will also be used for research.
It was, however, not clear
what kind of research they would be used for, because all the Thai
authorities said was that they wanted to learn from Kenya's experience
on how to take care of wildlife.
The animals will be shipped
to Thailand on a date they would not disclose.
The prime minister and his
government spokesman Mr Surapong Suebwonglee seemed to be pained by
claims they had bought the animals.
The money given out –
which they did not disclose but is believed to be Sh80 million – would
be used to create a fund to promote research, they said.
Dr Shinawatra was the first
to defend his government's decision, saying the animals were meant for
joint research between the two countries.
He denied his government had
bought the animals because Kenya's wildlife was not for sale.
Kenya had plenty of animals,
which he said could be sent for good care and research in Thailand,
instead of being culled when their numbers became too high.
Dr Shinawatra said the joint
research would be beneficial to both states because they were both
He said: "We've not
come here to buy wildlife. We are engaged in a joint effort where
instead of culling your excess wildlife, you send the animals to us for
joint research because if we undertake joint research, it will benefit
both of us".
Reported by David Mugonyi,
Muriithi Muriuki and Patrick Nzioka
over pact giving 175 animals to Thailand
Friday November 11, 2005
Outrage greeted the signing
of a pact giving Thailand 175 Kenyan wild animals, with a minister
calling for an urgent Cabinet meeting to discuss the matter.
William Ntimama, of the Office of the President, said such a
"monumental" decision should not have been made unilaterally
by the President. "This is not a simple matter and I am calling on
the President to convene an urgent Cabinet meeting to discuss it."
The minister was addressing
journalists at Mai Mahiu before attending campaign rallies in Narok Town
and Ololua Township.
Conservationists, members of
communities living near the game reserves and other politicians also
protested at the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the
two countries, even as the Governments of both Kenya and Thailand tried
to reassure them.
Following the signing of the
memorandum on Wednesday — witnessed by President Kibaki and Thailand
Prime Minister Thaskin Shinawatra – Kenya will give the Asian country
175 animals for its Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo, set to be opened next
Yesterday, Dr Shinawatra,
who is on a three-day State visit, said the agreement between the two
countries was within the law.
The PM was speaking at
Village Market in Nairobi, where he opened the Thai trade fair.
Demonstrators who had gathered at the main entrance to the shopping
centre to protest at the deal were disappointed after Shinawatra’s
security team used a different entrance.
Once they learnt that he was
already inside the premise, some stationed themselves along the way out.
However, police took them away moments before the prime minister left.
The Government Spokesman, Dr
Alfred Mutua, also defended the animal deal, saying it was only one of
several memoranda the two governments had signed.
Mutua said the animals were
taken from a rich habitat with more than 1.5 million animals and they
would be taken to an open sanctuary in Thailand.
He also said that only
herbivores would be taken away and not those in the endangered
species’ list—lions, leopards, the rhino, elephant, among others.
But civic leaders from
Olkejuado County Council warned the Government against giving away the
animals, saying the move would deal a big blow to the Maasai community
living around the game reserve.
"We will not negotiate
over this and let them attempt and they will see the Maasai community in
its true colours," said Mr Julius ole Ntayia.
And the Born Free Foundation
asked the Government to make public details of the controversial pact.
The co-ordinator, Ms Alice
Owen, said stakeholders were surprised that they were not consulted on
"We want to see the
document. It is only when we see it and get the facts that we can take a
position,’’ Owen said.
But she said they would be
opposed to the removal of animals from their natural habitats.
Foreign Affairs minister
Chirau Mwakwere on Wednesday gave a breakdown of the animals to be
exported, saying it was not the first time Kenya was exporting animals.
But renowned conservationist
Dr Richard Leakey has termed the decision a national shame.
The Orange campaign team
demanded that Parliament debates the decision.
Nominated MP Mutula Kilonzo
asked why President Kibaki was "in a hurry to wind up the country".
approve the sale. President Kibaki has given away Amboseli National Park
and now it is our animals. Where will he stop? He could be winding up
the country," said Mutula.
Last month, Amboseli
National Park, which was gazetted as a national park in 1972 due to its
delicate ecosystem, was handed over to Ol Kejuado County Council.
Yesterday, the Government,
through Mutua, sought to justify the decision, saying Thailand is
advanced in service delivery and handles over 12 million tourists every
year compared to Kenya’s average 1.3 million.
He said the MoU was "to
obligate" the two governments to comply with the movement of
animals and the conservation of wildlife allowing Kenya to monitor their
The MoU is "open ended"
allowing the Government of Kenya to monitor, through KWS, the health and
progress of the 24 species of animals while in the foreign country.
"Thailand is not paying
for any of the animals—this is a gift," said Mutua in his
He said the animals would be
moved in bits "for observation purposes" and the costs would
be met by Thailand.
Mutua added that the Kenya
was "very pleased" signing the agreement because Kenya will
"substantially" benefit from Thailand’s expertise in the
management of parks.
Mutua said the Kenya
Wildlife Service and Ministry of Tourism were involved in the
negotiations preceded by site visits, and that a fund would be set up to
care for the animals in Thailand.
"This is the most
advanced translocation ever conducted in the world," he added.
And speaking at the Serena
Hotel in the Masai Mara after touring the game reserve on Wednesday
afternoon, Shinawatra said tourists from Thailand would continue to
visit Kenya in spite of the deal.
signs away 175 animals to Thailand
Team and PPS
ExPrime Minister, Dr Thaksin Shinawatra, and Kenyan ExInformation
Minister, Raphael Tuju, during lunch break at the Maasai Mara Game
Reserve yesterday. Earlier, President Kibaki had signed a pact that
will see Kenya export 175 wild animals to Thailand.
Pic by Govedi
President Kibaki and
Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shanawatra yesterday witnessed the
signing of a pact by their Foreign Ministers, which will see Kenya
export 175 wild animals to the Asian state.
The two leaders witnessed
the signing ceremony at State House, Nairobi, before Thaksin, described
as a lover of animals, flew to Maasai Mara National Park to sample
Signing on behalf of Kenya
was Foreign minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere, who later argued that the
numbers and species involved were negligible given the population of
animals in Kenya’s game reserves and national parks.
minister, Dr Kantathi Suphamongkhon, signed the Memorandum on behalf of
his country, which drew prompt condemnation from conservationist.
Former Kenya Wildlife
Service (KWS) director, Dr Richard Leakey, said he was shocked that the
Government could accede to such a request.
"To export wildlife to
a zoo is a completely deplorable action. It is complete bankruptcy of
Government,’’ Leakey said.
He said he was greatly
ashamed that Kenya could sell its image for such a small figure touted
to be US$500,000 (Sh37.5 million). Mwakwere said the agreement involved
relocation of wildlife from Kenya to Thailand, a process he said was not
"dangerous and impossible" as claimed by a section of
activists who had demanded transparency on the plan on Tuesday.
"This is not a
dangerous affair at all. The total number of animals to be relocated
over a period of time will be 175 from 25 different species. We have
done it before although it was a discreet process. It is not harmful,
neither will it interfere or kill our tourism," he added.
"It is far much better
to relocate a small number of animals to Thailand than to resort to
culling and shooting in the country because even the eco-system they are
in has become too small." The agreement also offers a wide range of
beneficial exchange programmes between Thailand and Kenya, through
The memorandum was, however,
silent on the animals-for-aid deal except a one liner reference in
clause 11: "The two sides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding
on Cooperation in the Field of Park and Wildlife Management"
Mwakwere gave some of the
species and numbers of animals to be carted away and the existing stock
Six African Buffaloes out
of a population of 90,000
- Three Masai giraffes out
of a population of not less than 4,000 in Kenya.
- Fifteen Common Zebras out
of the current population of 50,000.
- Six warthogs to be
relocated out of a population of 15,000.
- Twenty Flamingos out of a
population of not less than one million.
- Six dik-diks out of a
population of not less than 10,000
- Ten impalas out of not
less than 40,000.
- Three jackals out of a
population of 2,000.
- Four crested cranes out of
not less than 2,000.
- Six Marabou storks out of
- Six spotted hyenas out of
- Eight Thomson’s gazelles
out of 30,000.
- Four hippopotamuses out of
a total of 10,000.
Mwakwere also disclosed that
Kenya had donated more wildlife in the past.
"There are zoos in
America and Dubai. Where do you think the wildlife came from?’’ he
He added: "It is just
that the process has been discreet in the past, but there is nothing
wrong with the relocation. The activists should try and find out first,
the details of the relocation before protesting over details they have
not read, " he argued.
Mwakwere said the process
did not translate into depopulation because the "donations are so
small compared to the overwhelming number we have back in the country,
which is already a threat.’’
The agreement, he said,
translates to the establishment of a joint commission for bilateral
co-operation in the field of Parks and Wildlife Management.
Through the same programme,
Mwakwere said, all government ministries would be free to come up with
documentation that would specify areas of interest to facilitate
exchange of lecturers, students and other forms of expertise.
But though Mwakwere said the
animals won’t be leaving the country soon, the Thai media is already
teeming with stories of the grand display of the Kenyan game on November
16 when a Safari Park organised by the Prime Minister in his home
village of Chiang Mai opens. This has led to speculation that the
animals could be airlifted anytime.
Mwakwere said no single
elephant would be relocated in the process, which is estimated to take
several months. Also missing out on the list is the pride of Kenya’s
parks: lions, leopards, rhinos and cheetahs.
"The process will not
start immediately. It will be in phases and will also be slow. First of
all, there has to be preparations and statistics have to be put in the
right perspective," said Mwakwere.
Clause four of the joint
communiquÈ later circulated to media houses by the Presidential Press
Service read: "The two leaders lauded the warm bond of friendship
and co-operation existing between Kenya and Thailand. They reiterated
their commitment to strengthening and deepening bilateral relations
through mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation.’’
International media recently
quoted top Thai government officials saying the visit would culminate in
the signing of a memorandum of understanding that would see Kenya
government export 300 wild animals to Chiang Mai Night Safari Park.
"There will be a
signing of an agreement on that (Wildlife)," confirmed a Thai
official, who added, "There will also be an agreement on setting up
a joint trade commission."
Trade minister Mukhisa
Kituyi and Tourism PS Rebecca strongly refuted the reports.
The premier jets out of the
country today. He led high-ranking Thai officials including Deputy Prime
Minister and Trade minister, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, Natural Resources
Minister Yongyut Tiyapairat, Deputy Minister of Commerce Preecha
Laohapongchana and Dr Suphamongkhon.
Currently, trade volumes
between the two countries stands at Ksh7.4 billion, but Kenya’s
exports are minimal.
President Kibaki briefed the
Thai premier on the incentives and investment opportunities in Kenya’s
processing zones, which would give them access to the East African
Community and Comesa markets.
export: It is a national shame, declares Leakey
10. Nov. 2005
By Joseph Murimi
Former Kenya Wildlife
Service (KWS) director, Dr Richard Leakey, yesterday said he was shocked
that the Government could export its game to a foreign country.
"To export wildlife to
a zoo is a completely deplorable action. It is complete bankruptcy of
Government,’’ Leakey said.
He said he was ashamed that
Kenya could sell its image for such a small figure touted to be around
US$ 500,000 (Sh37.5 million). He described the move as a big blow to KWS
and Kenya’s tourism industry that is showing signs of recovery.
He claimed in the last two
years the Government has systematically destroyed KWS’s capacity to
operate as an independent body.
Leakey cited the Amboseli
fiasco where the national park was downgraded to a national reserve and
handed over to Kajiado County Council.
"First it was Amboseli,
now they want to sell Kenya’s image. I am shocked, it is pathetic, it
is a sad day for Kenya,’’ Leakey said on telephone.
He said there were few
countries that support the capture and breeding of animals in a zoo.
Transportation of animals to
a different climatic zone, he argued, meant most of them would die and
those that survive would be subjected to suffering.
Leakey said his friends
could raise for the Government the money it was getting from the deal if
it was broke.
The Parliamentary Committee
on Finance, Trade and Tourism said it had no details on the deal and
would be seeking audience with the Tourism minister.
The chairman Mutahi Kagwe
however said it would be difficult to fathom mass export of animals.
clean on the Thai wildlife deal
The Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, is in the country for a three-day state visit. This is the first time the Prime Minister is visiting Kenya in what has been hailed as a move to strengthen economic ties between Thailand and
It is also a grand opportunity to correct the trade imbalance between the two countries.
Already, trade volumes between the two countries have reached Sh7.4
billion, but Kenya’s exports to Thailand are minimal.
No doubt, there will be important matters of trade between the two countries discussed during the visit. But one thing rankles… the issue of animal exports to Thailand.
Late last year, President Mwai Kibaki made a trip to Thailand. During the visit, the President reportedly sanctioned the exportation of 300 animals valued at a million US dollars to go to a wildlife mutual fund. The animals were supposed to stock the Chian Mai Night Safari Park, which will be opened next week. The Thai media was already reporting on Monday that the prime minister’s visit to Kenya was a welcome boost for the park and that Kenya had agreed to provide Thailand with 135 African wild animals.
Thai officials have also been quoted saying that Kenya had officially notified them that it would sign a memorandum of understanding with Thailand on the matter.
Observers believe that the visit is closely linked to the deal. But the Government has already denied that there exists such a deal. So who is mistaken here? The world media reporting about the deal or those who deny that such a thing
Wild animals are core to Kenya’s
tourism. They are our national heritage. Anything touching on them; their
culling, their export or their translocation, is something that would interest many Kenyans. It is therefore imperative that the Government comes clean on the deal. If it does not
exist, then it should clear the misconception already taking root that it
does. If it indeed exists, then the Government should be open about it. The public has a right to know for what reason the Government would sell a national resource.
by Scott Jones
ACTION ALERT - 03. April 2011
AGAINST WILDLIFE RENDITION
News and Updates 07.04.2004 - 07.11.2005
News and Updates 08.11.2005 - 13.12.2005
3 Latest Updates
14.12.2005 - today!
of the MEMORANDUM BETWEEN KENYA AND THAILAND !!