Faru Team Burra Update: 01 January 2006

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 January 2006

Share the article

Participants:

Alex Macharia – team leader Mathew Kiura Peter Gitau Peter Wambua John Malonza Ikutha Mwoni 2 KWS Rangers

Area of operation:

The areas patrolled this month included Lualenyi ranch, Saltlick, Ndii, Ngutuni, Maungu and Irima

76 SNARES RECOVERED

1 POACHER ARRESTED

FINDINGS.

Operation settings. We were camping at Lualenyi in order to observe if any night poaching activities were taking place. While at Lualenyi we checked on a sick elephant that had a swollen right foreleg. We were unable to identify the cause of the wound although we believe it was caused by an arrow or a snare as poaching is prevalent in the area, however, without a proper examination, we are not able to rule out natural causes for the injury. We set an early morning ambush at Lualenyi but were not able to make any arrests, as was the case at the evening and morning ambush that we set at Taita Sisal Estate. We searched the area for snares recovering 2.

After observing fresh footprints at Ndii we decided to carry out an ambush over a period of two nights. Sadly no arrests were made.

Evidence of poachers. At Lualenyi we found a fresh buffalo skin, active hideouts with water containers and a fresh Impalas head. While at Ndii we found a zebra skin with cuttings and fresh blood marks.

At Maungu we observed that night poaching is prevalent. We also found an Impala skin and fresh hideouts used by the poachers. We were also able to arrest one cattle grazer who was consequently booked at Voi police station. Irima and Ndii remain poaching hotspots attested to by the myriad footprints leading to and from the park and the cuttings that were present along the fence line.

Young Elephant Rescue We were called to assist in the rescue of a calf at the Pipeline. The calf was a male and was approximately 2-3 weeks old. The young elephant had gotten stuck in the mud and its mother had tried tirelessly to pull the calf from the mud without any success. We used our vehicle to drive the herd away to a safe distance so that we could rescue the calf.

Once the calf was free it followed everything that moved including our vehicle, forcing us to hide from it. Thankfully its herd returned and the calf was reunited with its mother. We were all very happy and exited as not only had we saved a life but the calf was returned to its family.

Surprise visit Two male elephants paid the Voi stockades at visit one evening at 5:00pm. The keepers feel that the Elephants were in search of a mate and were following Emily. When the bulls came closer to the waterhole we noticed that the larger of the two had a deep wound in its shoulder that was oozing pus and blood. The trunk looked as if it had been snared as it too had a deep cut. Thankfully the elephant did not appear to have any difficulty drinking water from the waterhole. We think that the shoulder wound was probably caused by an arrow. We reported the case to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Mobile Veterinary Unit.

Community At the beginning of the month we visited Mwambiti Kajire and G.Mosi primary schools, both of which have benefited from new desks donated by the Trust.

Our visit had two objectives, to familiarize ourselves with the teachers in order to gain cooperation for our conservation efforts, and to strengthen the bond between the community, the Trust and KWS, so as to ease tension and aid conservation.

The Burra de-snaring team together with the Robert Carr-Hartley and the Senior Warden met with the Management of Sagalla land owners. The meeting was successful and Robert’s presence there was appreciated by the community who since then have had a positive attitude towards conservation.

Report by Alex Macharia