During May there was little rainfall throughout the Tsavo Conservation Area causing waterholes to diminish, and forcing wildlife to concentrate in smaller areas where some water still remains. This situation makes wildlife and especially elephants an easier target for a poacher which has of course increased the importance of ground and aerial patrols.
Livestock incursions are also on the rise as viable pastures have reduced considerably. The Ziwani team spent a large portion of their month on joint patrols with the KWS to evict livestock with a total of 12 arrests of herders being made. Another significant threat faced in Tsavo during May was commercial charcoal burning. The Tiva team destroyed 34 charcoal kilns in an effort to put a stop to large-scale charcoal burning occurring in the Northern area of Tsavo East NP.
The highlight of the month was the arrest of an ivory poacher by the Ithumba team who was caught in the act of removing tusks from an elephant. It is rare that perpetrators are caught "red-handed" and it will go a long way toward getting a conviction. In addition, two elephant carcasses were discovered and their ivory recovered by the Burra and Mtito teams.
The following report describes key incidents during May covering the Tsavo Conservation Area: