Human-wildlife conflict between baboons and residents living near the Lake Nakuru National Park have been escalated by careless waste disposal that attracts the animals to their homes.
An Assistant Director of Wildlife Dickson Ritan said the animals were unlikely to leave the park if the leftover foodstuffs were properly disposed of instead of being scattered all over the place.
However, a resident of Lake View Estate, Peter Kimani said that due to reduced food at the park, the baboons have become more aggressive and were entering their kitchens and snatching fruits.
Kimani said the increased flooding of the park has reduced pasture for the animals hence the escalation of human/wildlife conflicts.
Ritan said wild animals just like human beings were likely to keep on returning to areas where they are assured of food and through the fence at the park they were able to see foodstuffs strewn all over the place.
In addition, he said, idle children at home enjoy playing with the animals as they provoked them by throwing fruits to them across the fence, and since the concerned animals perceive them as playmates, sometimes they follow them to their homes.
Ritan urged the residents to keep their home environment clean in order to reduce unnecessary conflicts with the animals and to always perceive them as an important national heritage, which should be protected.
He gave an example of the Sachang’wan area in Rongai Sub County where the residents have co-existed with an elephant which occasionally crosses over from Koibatek Forest.
He added that the stray male elephant was allegedly left behind by a heard that wandered away from Laikipia conservancies and they were waiting for it to trace its way back.
The Assistant Director noted that elephants have good memories and sometimes the best way to relocate them was by letting them trace their way back home.