Bushmeat poaching and snaring activities increased during July
Bushmeat poaching and snaring activities increased during July. All teams were patrolling daily, lifting snares set by poachers and setting ambushes when called for, in the hope of apprehending offenders. The DSWT helicopter and Dog Unit were active with the Anti-Poaching teams this month, working together to ensure the rapid deployment of the units, with the dogs picking up scents left at poacher camps and hides. In total 9 bushmeat poachers and 2 ivory poachers were arrested in July. 1 poacher was apprehended with ivory in his possession, whilst the bushmeat poachers were caught with over 100kgs of meat from dikdiks, elands and kudus. One of the poachers was also found with a python skin, which he was going to sell on the black market.
Other arrests made by the teams included livestock herders, charcoal burners, a honey harvester found with a 10kg bag of honey in the park, a marijuana harvester and a number of loggers; one logger managed to escape leaving behind a large quantity of wood in a cart along with a donkey.
Towards the end of the month the Burra team worked with the Aerial Unit to help rescue an abandoned baby elephant in Tsavo West, having been taken to the Nairobi Nursery in the DSWT’s new helicopter, the baby calf is since doing well. A dikdik was also rescued having been found trapped in a snare and luckily released in time, whilst a snared buffalo was also released and treated by the DSWT Tsavo Vet Unit.
Human-elephant conflict is an ongoing concern and all the units, ground and air, are always on call assisting communities with problem elephants, ensuring both people and elephants are safe by keeping elephants in the Parks and protected areas. Over 50 elephants were redirected back into the park this month by the teams having strayed into farmland and homesteads.
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