Chinese fined Sh0.2m for filming animals at park

By Our Reporter

A Chinese national was fined Sh200,000 by a Kajiado court for illegally carrying out filming activities in Amboseli National Park.

The tourist, Li Zhenzhou, was brought to court by police on Saturday after he was arrested on July 28 in Amboseli National Park with a drone (unmanned flying vehicle) and its remote control taking films without a licence.
Zhenzhou appeared before Resident Magistrate Evans Mbicha and pleaded guilty to the charge.
He told the court he recently came to Kenya and was not aware it is illegal to take pictures of wildlife in the country. He argued that he was filming elephants and wanted to capture them close by using aerial vehicle with remote-controlled equipment.
The magistrate ruled that the tourist broke the law and fined him Sh200,000 or serve a prison term of six months. Zhenzhou paid the fine and was released from custody.
The prosecution had asked for heavier penalties arguing the activities of the tourist were wanting and had compromised the country’s security by flying spying equipment in a government protected area.
The magistrate ordered the drone that is fitted with powerful video cameras and its remote-control equipment be surrendered to the state and was immediately released the KWS.
Drones are unmanned flying objects that can be used by military to spy and bomb in enemy hideouts without risking the lives of pilot who controls them from the ground. Some nations also use drones for spying on their neighbours without being detected by security radars.