Anti-Poaching Report: April 2024

Published on the 18th of June, 2024

April was another busy month for the SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams. In total, the teams covered 16,133 kilometres on patrol, making 57 arrests and collecting 748 snares. They also supported two veterinary interventions and confiscated 119 kilograms of ivory.

In April, the teams lifted 748 snares and made 57 arrests, including 1 bushmeat poacher, 16 livestock herders, 3 loggers, 7 fishmen, 47 miraa harvesters, 21 charcoal burners, 1 grass harvester, and 1 trespasser. The teams also confiscated firewood, logged posts, and timber, along with 49 charcoal sacks, 16 sacks of harvested miraa, and a consignment of fish. In addition, teams dismantled 11 livestock bomas, 50 active charcoal kilns, 9 charcoal camps, and 12 camps.

The teams discovered three elephant carcasses in April. Two appeared to have died of natural causes, while one was inconclusive. Two carcasses bore tusks — tallying a combined 119 kilograms of ivory — which were collected and handed over to KWS for safekeeping. The Tiva Team arrested an ivory poacher, who was apprehended with a tusk in his possession. The Meru Team ambushed an ivory poacher who was operating in Meru National Park. He was arrested with several poisoned arrows on his person.

The teams also supported the SWT/KWS Mobile Vet Units in two veterinary interventions, including an injured zebra with a young calf and the rescue of an elephant trapped in mud.

The elephant rescue, which involved the Ziwani Team, was a particularly notable operation. You can read a full account here. Coming back from a patrol, the rangers discovered a large elephant stuck in mud. It was too late to mount a same-day extrication, but the team knew that a recumbent elephant — even a full-grown bull — would be easy pickings for poachers or predators. They stood guard by his side throughout the night, looking after him from darkness to dawn. At first light, they were joined by the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit and Aerial Unit, and together, the bull was successfully extracted from the mud.

The Burra, Kulalu and Kichwa Tembo teams were on annual leave during April, while the Kenze, Jipe, Mukururo, Kapangani, Kwale, and Tiva teams worked part of the month. The rest of the SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching units operated full-time in April.

SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams

For nearly a quarter of a century, SWT rangers have been frontline defenders of Kenya’s ecosystems. Working in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, they face the most pressing threats to conservation. In addition, they serve as a vital link in our wider field work, supporting not only anti-poaching operations, but also veterinary treatments, orphan rescues, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, and all manner of field emergencies.
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