De – Snaring Report for July 2007
James Mbuthia – team leader
4 KWS Rangers
Area of operation:
During the month of July the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Kithasyo, Metava, Kikunduku, Umani springs, Kibwezi forest, Satellite and Mangelete of Mtito-Andei.
The team operational bases during the month of July were Kithasyu. The team patrolled regularly and monitored the ongoing road project.
4 Charcoal burners were arrested in Kibwezi Forest. The team found sacks of charcoal and several charcoal kilns which we destroyed to avoid further destruction to the forest.
The team has been paying a lot of attention to dealing with the problems in this region and overall our presence in this area has been felt as charcoal burning is on the decline.
The team joined forces with the Forest Department Officers to conduct a major operation lasting 2 days to ensure charcoal burning activities in this region are put under control by restricting movement of people in the forest. The Officers later admitted that without this joint effort such an operation would not have been such a success.
The team received information of a limping elephant which was severely wounded at Umani springs. Upon arrival to this area the team spotted the elephant that at that moment collapsed and lay in a near-death state. After several minutes the elephant died.
The elephant had been shot by poison arrows, we believe the poacher was nearby following his kill and escaped when he saw the team and KWS with the carcass.
This type of bow and arrow poaching is common in Umani springs; the poachers ambush the animals when they come to drink water. The KWS removed the tusks. It is of utmost importance to concentrate more on this area and perhaps even set a base camp in the area to protect the wildlife.
At the Satellite area the team lifted 10 snares all targeting big game. There were no animals trapped in snares found in this area.
On route to Kikunduku the team came across a poachers hideout with signs of resent use.
The poachers probably left a day before the team. Whilst patrolling at Kari 28 snares were lifted.
One owl and one Dikdik were rescued from snares and released. We also found one dead Zebra that fell victim to a snare.
The following day the team patrolled Mwailu Hill were 11snares targeting medium game were lifted. The team received information that there was a serious poacher operating in the Mtito Andei area. Upon patrols there, 49 snares were lifted. No luck in catching the poacher. However the team will continue their efforts to capture this poacher.
The opening of the Utu- Kikunduku road is still in progress. So far 14Km has been excavated and graded. The team uses this section for operations which is of great help.
On the 28th of July the team took the Kithasyu Primary School WCK members on a school trip into Tsavo West National Park. The school fraternity and the community were very excited to visit the Park for the 1st time in their life. The trip included visiting the Shetani Lava, Mzima Springs, and Chaimu hill, roaring rocks and the Rhino sanctuary.
The children really loved climbing the Chaimu Hill.
Such trips impact these children’s lives greatly in regards to their outlook on the environment and conservation. Environmental education is a vital part of getting new Kenyan generations t be environmentally aware and live more sustainable and ‘greener’ lives.
Report by James Mbuthia