Participants Isaac Maina – team leader Mutua Koti - tracker Jacob Dadi - tracker Joseph – informer 2 KWS Rangers
The exercise was carried out over a period of twenty days along the eastern boundary and park neighborhood. A total of 661 snares were recovered, a lesser kudu strangled by a snare found and three poachers arrested. 25% of the recovered snares were big game snares.
We covered Kajire area which yielded 174 snares, 93% for dik dik, 4% for birds, and 3% for larger mammals; Ndara area with 57 snares, the majority for dik dik. Mariwenyi area had 172 snares 15% for medium and larger mammals. A lesser kudu that had been caught by a snare was found here and a bunch of 3 poachers slipped away with another slaughtered antelope. At Irima area 258 snares were recovered, 84% for larger mammals (zebra, giraffe, buffalo). 3 poachers were arrested and 105 snares they had planted removed in their presence.
It was confirmed from them that game meat is sold in the homesteads and the snaring tools (wires) are acquired through vandalizing the old railway telephone lines. We also learnt that each poacher has an area of operation where he sets his snares.
Snaring at Irima is done far inside the park boundary. There were many indications of animals being caught. Among indicators were carcasses, bones tied on snares, marks on the tree with wires embedded in them, broken snares and uprooted trees among others.
Asked why they poach, the poachers cited poverty. They do it to get meat supplement, sell meat to buy other food, and pay school fees.