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KWS denies claims of forced separation of elephants and calves



The Kenya Wildlife Service has denied reports that elephant calves are deliberately separated from their mothers before confining them to animal orphanages for commercial gain.

In a statement on Tuesday, KWS said they have standard operating procedures that are strictly adhered to.

“Elephant orphans or abandoned calves are stumbled on or found opportunistically,” a statement from KWS’s corporate communication said.

KWS said Kenya has never had any case where elephant calves are deliberately separated from their mothers for rearing by humans. It said that is unethical and illegal.

Due process is followed before a decision is made to have a calf in distress put in an orphanage, it said.

“No individual, entity or institution can legally collect orphaned elephant calves without KWS authorising it,” the statement said.

In the recent past, reports have been circulating in a section of the media that calves are deliberately separated from their mothers.

KWS said it first gives consideration to trying to reunite a mother and calf, unless the mother died.

“Rescue is usually the last resort to give the orphan a second chance to live.KWS can account for all orphaned elephant calves that have been rescued for captive care so far. Elephant orphanages are not enterprises,” KWS said.

“They were established to nurture orphan elephants and eventually experiment releasing them to the wild when they are old enough to fend for themselves and protect themselves from enemies,” it said.

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