David Njoroge – team leader Michael Mwangi – assistant team leader Samuel Adero - tracker Peter Wambua – tracker John Malonza - tracker Ikuthu Mwoni - cook 2 KWS Rangers – Peter Okongo and Tom Opiyo
Area of operation:
The areas patrolled this month included the Ndii general area, Irima station, Mbulia ranch, Ngutuni sanctuary and the Taita and Mgeno ranches.
170 SNARES RECOVERED
The month’s operations started with us revisiting Mbulia ranch which is a poaching hotspot, where we lifted 79 Dikdik snares. During our patrols we met several community members who were complaining about the fact that they have lost cattle and goats to snares in the area. They are therefore also keeping an eye out for poachers promising to pass on any information should they come across any poachers. At the Ngutuni sanctuary things were a little better and we only lifted 2 snares which had been set to trap large game like buffaloes, elephants, giraffes and antelopes which often seen in the area.
We organized a major operation at Taita ranch, where we depend on information given to us by the farm manager, the security men and the herdsmen. Based on this information we set up a night ambush during which we saw the poacher but were unable to arrest him as he escaped into the bush. We entered his house but were unable to find any evidence that could be used to arrest him. The security men have said that they would keep an eye on the poacher, investigate him, and pass on any information to us.
When we revisited the areas around Ndii we found that compared to last month there was a vast improvement as we only lifted 4 snares targeting large game.
The secretary at Mgeno ranch informed us that poaching has become rampant in that area. We therefore decided to set up camp at Mgeno. We were informed by a security man that there was an Elephant in the area that had a snare on its left foot. The elephant had been in pain for more than 2 weeks. We went in search of the elephant, founding it after a few hours. Its left leg was swollen and it was having difficulty walking. We informed the veterinary unit which came to the elephants rescue darting it in order to successfully remove the snare which had become embedded in the elephant’s leg.
During our patrols at in the Mgeno area we came across charcoal burners who entered the ranch making it difficult to find them amongst all the people who live and work at the ranch. On our 4th day at Mgeno we were able to arrest one poacher in possession of antelope meat.
MWABITI DESKS PRESENTATION The desk presentation was held on the 25th of November at Mwambiti’s new compound site where they intend to start teaching early next year. The parents, teachers, pupils and school committee members were all there and enthusiastically received their new desks from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust de-snaring team. The pupils and teachers were very appreciative due to the fact that previously seating 4 pupils to a desk, with the rest of students sitting on the floor. They thanked the Trust for its assistance and requested continues support in the future pledging that they would support the Trusts conservation work.
Report David Njoroge