July has been the driest month of the year with strong winds which have exacerbated bushfires lit by bordering communities in northern Tsavo East with intent to clear grazing land for livestock, whilst fires have also grown out of control along the Mombasa highway. The KWS/DSWT Anti-Poaching Units on the ground have been active in containing all fires whilst also patrolling extensively to ensure further burning is stopped early on and working with communities to make certain such activities are prevented.
Pressure from cattle has increased dramatically during the month with large numbers being seen within the Park, where herders have also been establishing major water wells along the Tiva River. Within the northern area of Tsavo East in particular charcoal burning continues to be an ongoing issue; the ground units and aerial surveillance unit are patrolling consistently to eradicate further activities.
There have been several key arrests made, which in turn have led to further arrests by the KWS who successfully caught a gang of 4 men who had poached 4 elephants on the Tiva River during July. The gang have since been put in prison on a 1million shilling bail and are awaiting trial.
With a constant presence on the ground and in the air, both the KWS and DSWT are extending even greater protection over the Tsavo Conservation Area, during a time when threats to the land and wildlife are heightened due to the dry season, and security is of the upmost importance.