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 A Month with the Mtito Anti-Poaching Team - 10/25/2012
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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trusts anti-poaching teams together with the Kenya Wildlife Service are currently dealing with illegal human activity on a daily basis within the Tsavo Conservation Area. The Mtito team has been patrolling extensively throughout an area known as the Tsavo Triangle this month in an effort to prevent the intrusion of elephant poachers, bush-meat snarers and charcoal burners whilst curbing illegal logging and livestock invasion.

KWS rangers on patrol with the Mtito Desnaring team  Removing snares

With detailed data gathered daily from the field, from both the aerial unit and ground teams, illegal activity hotspots can be identified as priority areas for the anti-poaching teams to monitor and patrol. Utilizing this vital data the Mtito team were able to apprehend five offenders during the first half of the month of which four were charged with the poaching of bush meat and ivory hunting and one for illegally grazing cattle within the Park. The team were also able to recover over 10 poisoned arrows, 3 blades, a sack of poison, an axe, 2 bows and bush-meat weighing over 30kg.

Fresh bush meat recovered from a poacher  Fresh poachers camp found by the team

Fresh bush meat  A discovered snare

Poachers apprehended by the team in their hide out. (3)  Poaching tools and fresh bush meat recovered from poachers.

The team driving out livestock from the park.  Fresh foot print sighted in park.

Whilst on patrol the teams are also constantly vigilant for evidence of the presence of charcoal burning and illegal logging, which is spreading uncontrollably along the boundaries of the Park.

A charcoal kiln sighted in the park.  Logging inside the Park

Illegal Logging  Illegal grazing of livestock inside the park

Having focused their patrols within a manageable area the team reported no further conflict with poachers or bush-meat snarers, noting a reduction in illegal human activity within their dedicated operational zone for the second half of the month, as a result of their dedicated presence. These threatened habitats need ongoing protection and the DSWT partnered with KWS is restructuring and reinforcing its anti-poaching forces in order to combat the increasing attacks on Tsavos wildlife and ecosystems at a time when it is needed the most, which means we need support more than ever, however small, to make a real difference.

poachers with their belongings.  Poachers hide out discovered by the team in the triangle (6)

   

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