Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Sunday that an inter-agency security team had intensified manhunt for arsonists responsible for a spate of fires at Tsavo National Park.

A statement from KWS said that security forces and neighboring communities had been mobilized to help extinguish the inferno at the park and hunt for the suspected arsonists.

“The fire, which started at the Sheikdam area on August 8, 2020, is suspected to have been lit by arsonists. Police are tracking down these suspected arsonists as we work to extinguish the fire,” said KWS.

A series of infernos have broken out at Tsavo National Park since May, razing vegetation and threatening the survival of iconic species like giant land mammals and carnivores. The fire incidents at the expansive wildlife sanctuary located on Kenya’s southeastern plains have undermined efforts to conserve iconic species that generate revenue to the country through tourism.

Local administrators said that investigations revealed the fires were started by arsonists as opposed to natural causes.

Robert Njue, assistant director, Tsavo Conservation Area said that illegal herders were suspected to have started the fires inside protected areas.

He said that detectives had made a crucial breakthrough in their search for the suspected arsonists and clarified that no iconic wildlife species had been lost due to the fires.

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