A Monthly Aerial Report from the DSWT's Pilots

Published on the 5th of August, 2016

During the month of July, the DSWT’s Aerial Unit anticipated a large influx of veterinary cases, as is usually the case at this time of year

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During the month of July, the DSWT’s Aerial Unit anticipated a large influx of veterinary cases, as is usually the case at this time of year. However, we were fortunate in finding very few. A total of 3 elephants were treated with the assistance of the Trust’s aircraft.

The majority of illegal activities sighted during July consisted of illegal grazing and charcoal burning. Pressure during the dry months from herders on the eastern boundary of the Parks is high and many thousands of livestock are brought into the Park when water and grazing has become scarce elsewhere in bordering community lands. On the western side of the Park along the Athi River, charcoal activity has increased recently with many charcoal kilns sighted by the Aerial Unit and later destroyed by ground teams.

On the 30th of July, a charcoal burner/bush-meat poacher was sighted from one of the aircrafts and in a joint operation between the Aerial Unit and the Trust’s new Yatta Anti-Poaching Team, he was successfully captured after nearly an hour of pursuit. He was found in possession of 32 snares and later booked at the police station.

Highlights of the month were the sighting of a pride of lions on the Tiva River and a leopard perched on a rocky kopje near the Yatta.  The DSWT pilots were also encouraged to see a number of Grevy’s Zebra and a herd of over 2000 buffalo.