Project period: 2nd – 30th September 2004
Participants: Isaac Maina. - Team leader
Mutua Koti -Tracker
Phillip Kipkorir -Tracker
Rangers-Shabaro, Ali, Steve, Rashid.
The month operation yielded 495 snares with 3 dikdiks being rescued, removing a buffalo from the mud, saving a giraffe with a snare, and rescuing a baby elephant.
The exercise mainly concentrated on three prime areas Irima, Ndii and Sagalla ranch all of which a close to base. Ndii and Irima were thoroughly patrolled and it was promising to note that no new activities were observed.
The team used to be dropped in the morning and then picked in the evening since the de-snaring team vehicle was also being used for another purpose. Thus a large stretch of Irima –Ndii area was patrolled exhaustively.
Ngutuni sanctuary was the target for medium and big animals. 18 snares were recovered some of them freshly set. A big herd of buffaloes was seen going to water hole at the Ngutuni lodge. A variety of antelopes roamed the area grazing and browsing as they have found the area conducive due to availability of water.
Patrols along the pipeline in the Manga area yielded 53 snares all of them small size. Dikdiks are common in this region.
Sagalla ranch dominated the month snares recovered. 387 snares were retrieved in this region all except one were small sized. Some fresh foot prints along a snare line led us to a poacher who we missed by a whisker when he saw us before reaching him causing him to penetrate through acacia bushes at an amazing speed. Three dikdiks were safely rescued from snares on two different days.
The team also assisted the Vet to capture a giraffe which had a snare on his hind leg at Taita hill sanctuary on their way to rescue an orphaned elephant in Ziwani. The snare was safely removed. Two days later while on a mission to search for another reported abandoned elephant calf in Maktau, the team recovered 12 snares.
On a different date after a successful rescue mission of an elephant calf in Taita ranch, where a snare was removed from the calf, the calf then successfully joining the mother again, the team joined the Vet unit yet again to rescue a buffalo stuck in mud along the water pipeline. The buffalo was dragged out of the mud, thus saving his life.
Compiled by Isaac Maina.