Kenya: Mystery Fire at Conservation Center Kills Wildlife

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Tens of wildlife are feared dead following a mysterious fire that broke out at a private conservancy near Maasai Mara Game reserve.

The inferno destroyed the tented Olkupelia camp razing the office, kitchen and bar besides burning to death birds, snakes and newly born animals at the Morogi conservancy.

Speaking to the Daily Nation on phone, a tourist police who is not authorized to speak to the media and who sought anonymity, said the fire posed a threat to luxury lodges in the conservancy among them the prestigious Mahali Mzuri camp belonging Billionaire Sir Richard Branson and Kempeniski camp among others.

The officer called on the local county government to invest in firefighting engines and trains fire fighters on how to battle wild fires as those who were battling it today used leaves, twigs and all sorts of crude means to try put off the raging fire.

And according to Nick Murero, the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem Coordinator for Lake Victoria Basin, the fire was started to stop illegal grazing but got out of hand.

“If there is need to contain illegal grazing and vegetation growth then it should be executed with proper control by the conservancies, the county government of Narok and residents who have set aside their land for conservation,” said the official.

Murero added that most bird species which tourists view when they visit Mara had been killed and their nests burnt.

The conservationist observed that the ecosystem, which mainly consists of grass and wood land savannah, would take long to regenerate and could affect the spectacular game viewing.

He spoke as fire fighters from joined in the battle to put off the fire that threatened to spread further.

Source: Daily Nation