- On April 6th, 2023, rangers of the Kenya Wildlife Service and officers of the police and DCI, acting on intelligence from the NGO, Big Life Kenya, arrested two men in a restaurant in Maralal town with 106 kg of ivory.
- It is of note that Maralal is approximately 500 km north of the operating area of Big Life Kenya, which is predominantly Tsavo West National Park.
- Lebo Leshoomo from Samburu county and Anthony Muchai of Kiambu County were found with 37 pieces elephant tusks. One suspect escaped.
- The accused have been arraigned in Maralal court on charges of dealing and possession of wildlife trophies.
Big Life Foundation
April 14, 2023
Recently, Big Life informers sent along information about two suspects trafficking ivory. The intel led to a successful KWS operation that saw the arrest of two suspects in possession of 37 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 106 kg. As our informer network grows, these operations are happening more frequently and increasingly further afield from our core area of operations (AOO). In this case, the suspects were arrested in Samburu, north of Nairobi.
Big Life Foundation has a wide and highly effective intelligence network that collects information from across Kenya and beyond. We then work closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on intel-related busts, directly supporting operations within our AOO.
The role of the local Maasai people in wildlife conservation efforts cannot be overstated. The success of the recent bust is testament to the trust that these communities have in reporting suspicious activity to Big Life Foundation. This trust has been built over many years of working together and is a reflection of the positive impact that Big Life has had in these communities.
The illegal trade in wildlife products like elephant ivory is a serious threat to the survival of many endangered species. Big Life’s intel network and partnership with KWS are critical in the fight against this trade. Together, we have demonstrated that wildlife conservation is a collaborative effort that involves not just the government and field organizations like Big Life but also the local community. Only through such collaboration can we hope to protect our natural heritage for future generations.