August was a successful month for DSWT’s Aerial Unit
August was a successful month for DSWT’s Aerial Unit. With effective cooperation from ground teams, the Trust’s aircrafts were directly involved in the apprehension of 5 suspects, one a suspected poacher and the others found to be extracting natural resources from within Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. In another incident, one of the Super Cubs was called to lay cover ahead of the Yatta team who were following the footprints of a poacher deep within Tsavo East and heading towards the boundary. After a mighty chase covering a total of 10 kilometres the suspected poacher was finally apprehended and arrested; evidence against him is being gathered.
The helicopter had an extremely busy month, flying 70.7 hours whilst being involved in several joint operations with ground teams and the Dog Unit. Most significantly, the helicopter dedicated 7 flights and more than 12 hours to an extended operation to stop large-scale charcoal burning activities between the Yatta and the Athi River. Dozens of charcoal kilns and camps were destroyed with up to 20 kilns being discovered in a single day. It is hoped that continued pressure with fixed-wing and ground patrols will help bring this area under control permanently.
Other illegal activities sighted during the month included activities associated with livestock grazing, with cattle being brought up to 50 kilometres into Tsavo East National Park in search of grass and water, as well as the discovery of two elephant carcasses. A positive note is that the Aerial Unit was only involved in two elephant treatments during what is generally one of the busiest months of the year.
You can read about all these cases and more in our monthly Aerial Report: