Henry Lekochere- Team Leader John Malonza Pilias Lekeele Samuel Masaku Rajab Fundi
During the month of March the Burra Team patrolled the following areas: Lualenyi ranch, Sagalla ranch, and Mgeno ranch.
Total Snares Collected- 109 Arrests: One poacher
During the course of the month a total of one hundred and nine snares were lifted in all areas patrolled. Out of these, ninety two snares were large cable snares targeting game such as buffalo, giraffe, and eland; and seventeen snares were small targeting game such as dikdik and other antelopes. The carcass of a snared domestic cow was found at Lualenyi ranch; this not being a targeted animal, but as snares are not target specific they capture & kill many other unwanted animals. The team arrested one poacher at Sagalla ranch, the man was in possession of game meat. He was part of a gang of 3 poachers, unfortunately his two associates’ evaded arrest during the chase. The Team assisted in rescuing a 1 ½ month old orphaned elephant at Mgeno ranch. The calf was picked up by the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust rescue team at Voi airstrip and flown to the Nairobi Nursery to be hand raised and re-introduced into the wild in several years. The DSWT Staff named the young female calf Sities and so far she is doing well.
This month has seen a slight decrease in snaring activity in comparison to the last 3 months. This pattern is not attributed to a general decrease in poaching; instead poachers have simply switched to adopting different poaching methods. As such poaching remains high, with the popular method being operating during the night and using lamping techniques. During the day time, they spent their time attending to their farms. This emerging pattern is worrying and the Team needs to adjust its tactics to tackle these illegal activities.
On the 2nd of March, the Team received information from a regular informant regarding snaring activity is taking place in the Ranch. The remains of a snared domestic cow carcass were found, the meat had been stripped from the animal leaving only the head and skin. The poachers in this area don’t target domestic cows however due to the nature of snares and how they work they trap & kill any animal unfortunate enough to pass by.
Sagalla ranch was patrolled for four consecutive days. The Management fully supports the Teams efforts and has been tremendously forthcoming in joining forces with the Burra Team in order to eliminate poaching and charcoal burning which is very rampant in the Ranch. They have been struggling to implement any anti-poaching initiatives due to lack of resources & funds. The Team patrolled in conjunction with the Ranch Security Team and managed to arrest one poacher in his hideout who was in possession of 3 kgs of game meat.
On the 22nd the team received a call from the Ranch security and as informed of a tiny elephant calf being sighted early in the morning coming towards their base. The team joined the elephant keepers from the DSWT’s Voi Unit to rush over to the sight where the young orphan was seen. The rescue operation was a success as the orphan was found and captured. The calf was only about 1 ½ months old and in fairly good physical condition. The Keepers fed the baby special formula milk and prepared the calf for the journey to the Voi airstrip where it was being picked up to be airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery.
The team organized two educational field trips to Tsavo East National Park. The two schools taken on the field trips were Msharinyi Primary and Kalambe Primary Schools. The Msharinyi Primary school is situated between Maungu and Buchuma KWS Gates; 98% of the students come from a nomadic Community, which is notorious for carrying out illegal grazing activities consisting of hundreds of livestock in the Park, making this school a primary target to focus on the sensitization to the negative impacts humans have on their natural resources & the importance of conservation. This school has therefore become a key focal point of the Teams Community project.
Report by Henry Lekochere