Isaac Maina. Mutua Koti Jacob Dadi. Sammy Odero. Phillip Kipkorir 3 K.W.S Rangers.
Area of operation
Lion hill, Irima, Ndii, Manga, kajire and Mbulia
Findings The month was characterised by the ending of the rain and the onset of the dry spell. This was a relatively good month, as the majority of the farmers would be tending to their farms at this time of the year. Lion hill is an area with dense bush and a growing community bordering it, here we managed to recover 12 snares all targeting smaller animals. We also saw three people in the area carrying jerry cans but on further investigation we discovered that they were carrying oil for the nearby lodge. At Irima we collected eleven snares on the park side and three on the other side of the fence, added to that we caught and arrested two poachers who were setting the snares. Unfortunately we recognised one of the poachers who had been arrested last year in December, obviously the consequences of being caught setting snares are worth the gain of catching food to eat. Sadly we also found a fresh carcass of an impala that had been caught in a snare. The de-snaring exercise in Ndii recovered 37 very fresh snares as well as a Dikdik which was found strangled to death in a snare. We stayed in the area for three days in ambush for the poachers to come back but they never did and so we decided to move on. On the outer side of the area around Manga hill we collected 120 snares. About half of the snares were created to catch larger animals. We visited a few of the local farmers in the area to see if we could get a lead as to who was poaching but no one knew anything and instead one farmer expressed his anger about one of his cows being killed by a snare. Kajire ranch was also patrolled and we found and destroyed three barrier lines as well as collected 96 snares. We also found a Dikdik that had also died in a snare and was left to rot. In the area we noted that there was a large amount of charcoal burning going on. Mbula area which lies on the western side of Tsavo east and neighbouring Tsavo West on the southern side was the last area that we visited and collected a total of 187 snares altogether. In this area we were lucky to find a Dikdik still alive trapped in a snare which we released, unfortunately we also found another one which had died some days before we got there. A total of 466 snares were recovered, 2 poachers were arrested, four animals were found dead and one Dikdik was rescued. The team also visited the community and a series of videos were shown to the schools and at nighttime a special open-air video was shown to the community courtesy of Amara. It was a video that was narrated in Kiswahili and so the majority of people were able to understand the film. An overwhelming amount of people turned up. The schools that benefited this month we Mwamunga, Ikanga, Miasenyi, Mwambiti as well as Mwambiti Sec, Kajire Sec, Mwangesa Sec and Tsavo Park institute. It is apparent that these schools have very little idea of wildlife let alone its conservation and most of the schools, despite being based on the edge of the park have never even visited it. Compiled by Issac Maina