Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua left Kenyans shocked after saying tigers are a renowned species of wildlife in the country.
Gachagua was speaking in Bogota, Colombia at a conference with potential investors from Latin America.
“We have many facilities for tourism. We have rare species of wildlife- elephant, rhino, buffalo, tigers…” he explained.
Wildlife statistics however appear to contradict DP Gachagua’s statement.
Wildlife Species in Kenya
According to Kenya Safari Animals and Wildlife, the country is home to the ‘Big Five’ animals namely; lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino.
“It is quite possible to see all of these animals during a 2 to 3-day safari in Kenya depending on which national park or reserve you visit,” added the organization.
Additionally, there are four other species of wildlife commonly found in national parks and reserves. They are; cheetah, giraffe, zebra and hippopotamus.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the few places that hosts the ‘Big Nine’ animals.
It is also globally renowned for its annual wildebeest migration which attracts thousands of foreigners.
Tigers are not found in Africa
Tigers are not found on the entire African continent, let alone Kenya, contrary to what DP Gachagua said.
A study conducted by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute indicates that tigers are predominantly found in Southeast Asia, China, and Eastern Russia.
Kenyans elicited mixed reactions towards DP Gachagua’s statement.
“KK government will promise you anything. Now Riggy G has promised TIGERS to Colombians!” one Twitter user identified as Prof Alfred Omenya said.
Another tweep named Duncan Musundi asked, “Aaaah Mkuu Kenya Kuna Tiger Kweli?”
“The fact is that tigers have never historically lived on the African continent. We have indeed exported lies to the international community,” one Caxstone Kigata stated.
DP Gachaguw has been bidding for better markets for farm produce abroad.