The Kenyan parliament approved emergency measures to crack down on poachers last week, just as Kenya's Wildlife Service began pursuing a gang of poachers that slaughtered four rhinos. "Kenya's elephants declined from 160,000 in 1960s to 16,000 in 1989 due to poaching. Today Kenya is home to only 38,500 elephants and 1,025 rhinos," said Member of Parliament (MP) for North Horr Chachu Ganya. "These animals are a major tourism attraction and anyone who threatens them is committing economic sabotage and should be treated as such." The measures vastly increase the penalties for poaching, including new fines up to $120,000 and up to 15 years in jail, up from a $480 fine and 2 years in jail. The measure was hailed as a victory for wildlife campaigners. "The passing of this bill is a huge victory, it is the strongest message from the Government of Kenya on the commitment to preserve our national heritage," said Paula Kahumbu, the Executive Director of Kenya-based WildlifeDirect. "MPs today voted for Kenya to restore her position as a global leader in wildlife conservation." For the full story, see