James Mbuthia – team leader Julius Kyalo David Wambua Isaiah Ndei Daniel Lekoiten 2 KWS rangers
Area of operation:
During the month of July the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Kibwezi, Umani Springs, Kari, Kikunduku, and the Satellite area.
KIBWEZI FOREST / UMANI SPRINGS The Kibwezi forest is a habitat for a variety of animals including Elephants, Bush pigs, Buffaloes, and Bushbucks. The forest is under a great deal of pressure from bushmeat poachers, woodcarvers and charcoal burners. During our patrols in this area the team ambushed two bushmeat poachers. Unfortunately one of the poachers escaped. We were however able to arrest the second poacher who was found to be in possession of 25kgs of bushbuck meat.
KARI The team received information about two poachers who were operating in this area. We were informed that they poachers were using the lamping method in order to slash and kill the animals. The team left for Kari at about 2am in order to carry out ambushes along the routes that the poachers were most likely to use. At dawn the team started patrolling the area and came across 9 bicycles that had been hidden in the bush.
KIKUNDUKU The team patrolled the Kikunduku area along the hills in order to see if snaring was taking place. As this is the pack snaring period there was a need to check all areas especially those where bushfires had been set. The team noted that there were several fires that had been set around Kikunduku. We were able to lift 6 snares targeting animals like Elands and Hartebeests. Due to the rough terrain in the area the team was dropped off and had to walk to the hotspots which were rather far from the drop off point. This indicates that there is a need to better the road networks in the area.
SATELLITE AREA The Satellite area is another poaching hotspot that the team visits every month. We discovered an abandoned snaring fence line. We feel that, due to our continued presence in the Satellite area, the poachers have lifted their snares from the fence line and moved them to another location.
ANIMAL SIGHTINGS. During the course of the team’s patrols we came across Elands, Hartebeests, Reedbucks, Bushbucks, and Duikers. A lot of wildlife has began to migrate into the park in large numbers as they are attracted by the fresh shoots and grass that begin to sprout after the burning of vegetation in certain areas.
COMMUNITY AWARENESS This month two schools, Nguluni and Kitheini primary schools, were taken on excursions into Tsavo West National Park.
VIDEO SHOWS The team held a video show at Soto primary school which attracted a large number of people from the surrounding communities.
Report by James Mbuthia