Published on the 12th of July, 2017
June was a relatively quiet month, with minimal poaching activity reported by the aircrafts. That being said, towards the beginning of the month, the helicopter and fixed wings were involved in the search for an armed gang of poachers who entered Tsavo West, heading towards Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. After two days of aerial surveillance, however, the ground teams found the poachers’ campfire and their footprints were followed towards the Park boundary with assistance from the DSWT’s Dog Unit, which was dropped by helicopter onto the tracks. No apprehensions were made as it is believed with the increased security presence the poachers fled the park, climbing onto transport along the Nairobi Mombasa road, although it is likely they will make another attempt to enter the Park in the future.
Progress has been made on illegal livestock challenges in some areas of the Park, while setbacks have been suffered in others. In the southern area of Tsavo East, KWS has been successful in pushing out almost all livestock between Voi and Bachuma. On the last flight to the area, only 1 small herd of cattle was observed in this area, taking water at a waterhole adjacent to the Standard Gauge Railway, within a few hundred metres of the highway. This is a significant improvement from the situation a few months ago when tens of thousands of cattle, brought in from other parts of Kenya, infiltrated the Park from the town of Maungu.
June is the beginning of the cooler months in Kenya, which keeps vegetation greener for longer, whilst water holes are still fairly abundant. The pilots have enjoyed watching many happy and peaceful elephant herds during the month, sighting some impressive tuskers including a healthy one tusked bull with a family herd. Rhinos are also always a pleasure to see and continued rhino patrols from the air help ensure they remain safe.
You can read about these and other stories in our monthly report: