Isaac Maina – Team leader Mutua Koti –Tracker Jacob Dadi –Tracker Feisal Muteti –Vehicle guard 2 KWS rangers
We patrolled new areas in Marapu as well as revisiting hot spots, which have proofed to be target of notorious poachers. Marapu a community land on the western park boundary is utilised for grazing and charcoal burning. Most of the animals found here are diksdiks and a few medium-sized antelopes. Snares were set in selected areas where livestock were restrained from grazing. We strongly feel that the perpetrators of the ill behaviour are herds’ men because in snare prone areas no signs of livestock activities were witnessed. Similarly when we interviewed them, they were affirmative that neither do they encounter snares nor have their livestock been a victim yet walking less than a hundred metres were snares. Altogether 398 snares were recovered, some which were freshly laid. At Irima, the unexpected happened when we found new snares in an area that we have constantly patrolled trying to clear any unseen remainders. Irima was previously an area where one in every dozen trees or shrubs was secured with snares while other snares were found in the ground probably after animals broke them or managed miraculously to escape from them. We thought we had won the battle just to be proved wrong when we found remains of an impala which had been slaughtered a day before. Efforts to trap the poachers were fruitless despite the rangers manning the area days and night. May be poachers’ posses a sixth sense that warns them of an impending danger. But of great concern is the snaring tool; the wire used is the same railway abandoned telephone cable which railway authorities have been reluctant to remove despite our constant persuasion. It will be hard to terminate snaring in this region when this cable is still freely accessible to poachers. Or should the animals pay for the lives of railway workers who died in the historical man-eaters of Tsavo? It shouldn’t be but unless Railways authority acts responsibly on this more animals are to suffer. Kariokor area where dogs had been used to chase animals toward snares yielded 58 snares. This time around no barriers was elected. Snares were elected on passages around shrubs. It’s worth to note that out of 582 snares recovered a handful of them showed blood stains, skin, hair and some were broken indicating that animals had been caught in them.
In an effort to address the plight of small animals a campaign to clean the highway on park neighbourhood was started on Saturday 22nd. The exercise involves the physical picking up of litter (old tyres, plastic bottles, polythenes, cans etc.). The aim is to clean the environment, remove old tyres, which are being used to extract wire for snares and remove the unsightly material, which are getting their way to parks by being blown by wind and water. A concerted effort of all is paramount to save environment pollution. If Road user retain their litter to empty them on designated dustbins instead of throwing them across the window, shoppers use baskets instead of disposable polythene and everyone to act rationally on litter disposal; a great deal would be achieved.