Faru Team Burra Update: 01 June 2009

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 June 2009

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Burra Team Report June-09 Participants Henry Lekochere Kennedy mungai Peter wambua John malonza Samuel masaku Rajab fundi

During the month of June the Burra Team patrolled the following areas: Ngutuni ranch, Taita-hills wildlife sanctuary, Mbulia ranch, Ndara and Aruba.

Total snares collected-242 Arrest-one

Findings During the month of June the team lifted a total of 242 snares in all the areas covered. Two elephants carcasses were found at Ngutuni ranch and Taita-hills wildlife sanctuary. Four giraffes, two buffaloes, three zebras one impala, three dik-diks, one ostrich and one jackal carcasses were found snared at Taita-hills sanctuary and Mbulia ranch respectively. The team managed to arrest one poacher at Mbulia ranch with being in possession of one hyrax and twenty three snares. The poacher was booked at Voi police station.

Observable evidence

The drought is still ongoing, the weather is characterized by cold dry weather. The land is desperately dry and there is copious amounts of dust in Tsavo East National Park and adjacent community ranches. The farming community is ata standstill with no crops at their farms to tender, henceforth an increase trend in snaring activity is being experienced.

Ngutuni ranch

The patrols started at the area adjacent to the park. Ngutuni ranch recorded no new activity, though one bull elephant carcass was found and its tusk were missing, through the information of a local informer the poachers used poisonous arrows to kill the elephants and sell its tusks at Mombasa town.

Taita-hills wildlife sanctuary

Taita-hills wildlife sanctuary is rich in biodiversity; this is home to many herds of elephants, buffaloes and elands. Since the sanctuary had plenty of water in the dam which can last for the whole year without drying up even during dry season. Poaching activity here is very rampant.

The team found one elephant calf and a buffalo carcasses believed to have died of natural circumstances.
Four giraffes, three zebras, one buffalo, an impala and one ostrich carcasses were found snared.
Fifty two big snares all targeting big game were recovered in the area.
They were secured along a fence barrier made of acacia twigs. One of the snares had been broken and it is believed to have caught an elephant which was sighted at the sanctuary two days earlier with a snare and the team assisted the Mobile Vet Unit to save the snared elephant.

Mbulia ranch

Mbulia ranch yielded the highest number of snares most of which were targeting small game such as Dikdiks.

Thirteen snares out of one hundred and ninety recovered in this area targeted medium and large sized game. Most of the snares were set a long snare barrier while others were found on animal tracks. Three dik-dik and one jackal carcass were found snared. The team managed to arrest one poacher in possession of one hyrax and twenty three snares. The culprit was booked at Voi police station and was waiting for sentencing.

Aruba and Ndara

The team worked tirelessly with the Bob Harries Engineering employees to repair the Aruba and Ndara wind pumps for three days. Both the wind pumps are the only source of water in the park during the dry season. The animals are now enjoying plenty of water after the pumps were repaired.

Community outreach

The team organized two ecological trips to Tsavo-East National Park. The two schools that benefited from the field trips were Kamtonga primary school and Mwachabo primary school. The two schools had never visited the park before and they were very happy to see herds of elephants, buffaloes, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetah and other antelopes. Both the schools also visited the Voi orphanage to interact with the orphans. The two schools were hugely grateful to the donor who funded the trip and are hoping to go again another trip. On the 5th day of June the team together with KWS, Taita district administration, schools and community around the park celebrated the World Environment Day at the Ndovu dispensary in Voi town whereby tree planting and clean ups of Voi town were jointly carried out.

The participants were encouraged to be conscious of their environment by acting responsibly and not cutting trees and throwing unfriendly environment litter but instead to keep the litter and deposit them at designated areas.

Report by Henry Lekochere