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Concerned About the Decline of Porcupines


My name is Steve Toom, a filmmaker/photojournalist and I have filmed and photographed wildlife for close to 4 years. There is a growing concern over the death of a porcupine that went viral. I posted an image of a man carrying a dead porcupine on his back on a group I follow (Kenyans for wildlife) and there were mixed reactions about it. I am a story teller and I had to pull the post down so that I can give a complete picture of the events that happened.


The exterminator's dog got injured by the porcupine 

It took place in Nandi County which is predominantly owned by farmers. The land use has left small room for wildlife. Nandi has many wild animals that have been seen by locals yet there is no proper sanctuary to keep captured or rescued animals. Locals have had encounters with leopards, caracals, aardvarks, porcupines, crane birds, sitatunga and many more. Human wildlife conflicts are not so common except for rodents and birds that have become a problem to the farmers. Once in a while, cats attack livestock and farmers rarely claim compensation. Farmers have not had peace with porcupines and see them as a nightmare. Most people have no clue about wildlife laws end up killing them. In this case, the man on the photograph is a local expert who is known and used by farmers to trap and capture such ‘problematic’ animals. There is a case of a farmer who committed suicide because porcupines destroyed her potato farm which was on credit.
Sweet potatoes destroyed by porcupines

The man has become like a village hero for helping farmers get rid of their biggest threats. Many farmers of the region have no interest whatsoever in protecting such destructive animals. No authorities or agencies have put any effort in educating and protecting such animals. This is an opportunity for conservationists to play a part in protecting the remaining animals. I don’t see the reason why we should let them disappear on our watch. Let's part for now as we find solutions and action plan to conserve the forgotten wild population of Nandi County.
Porcupine spikes




Stay safe and protect wildlife. You can always get back to me through my contacts.