Kenya’s First Lady Recognizes Fallen & Living Wildlife Rangers During Conservation Heroes Day

Yesterday, Kenya’s First Lady, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, joined Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and many distinguished attendees at the annual Conservation Heroes Day function held at KWS headquarters.

The special day is designated to bring together the families of KWS staff who lost their lives in the course of duty while standing in the gap for our world-renowned wildlife.

“To the families of the fallen heroes, mere words are inadequate to express the gratitude we feel towards our conservation heroes,” the First Lady also shared on her Twitter account. “Nevertheless, Kenya thanks you, the world thanks you, our wildlife thanks you.”

The day also recognizes ‘living heroes,’ those who go above and beyond their comfort zone while performing their duties.

The First Lady also took time to address the alarming downturn in wildlife population in Kenya and the world over the past several decades, stating that “Kenya must protect her invaluable natural resources.”

To this end, Kenya has invested heavily in capacity building of her rangers to enable them to be up to task through force modernization, improvement of ranger training college and rigorous training, leading to an over 90% reduction in rhino poaching in Kenya in the last five years.

“Yet the war on poaching will not be won if the countries that drive the demand for these products do not shut the markets,” Kenya’s First Lady said in a statement. “We therefore call upon the international community to prevail upon the countries driving trophy demand globally; to shut them down.”

Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala also expressed gratitude to Her Excellency for her dedicated efforts in conservation, including travelling abroad to lobby against trade in wildlife trophies, which contributed in part, to China banning the sale of ivory.

Kenyatta reaffirmed the government’s commitment to improve welfare of wildlife rangers through re-training, provision of medical insurance and protective gear.

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