Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 November 2006

Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 November 2006


James Mbuthia – team leader Julius Kyalo Nasarwa Esimegele David Wambua Isaiah Ndei 4 KWS rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of November the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Umani springs, Kuku, Kimana and Rombo ranches, Komboyo, Nthongoni, Chyulu pump, Kenani, Ngulia, Kilanguni and Tsavo West.



The month was very wet and the constant rain was a hindrance to our operations. We got stuck several times but refused to let this prevent us from visiting the poaching hotspots. We located two camps deep in the forest and were able to arrest 5 wood carvers found there.

The group comes from Mbui Nzau which is about 45km from the boundary, and their plan was to stay in the park for about 2 weeks. Upon interrogation it was revealed that their dealers come from Nairobi in order to buy their carvings, thus financing this illegal activity. In their possession was a slaughtered Impala whose meat they had already cooked. This shows that all the illegal activities in the park are interlinked and for that reason anyone who does not have permission to be in the park should be apprehended.

During our patrols it became evident that the poachers have changed their methods switching from snaring to using bows and arrows. 14 big snares were lifted and 3 bows and 8 poisoned arrows recovered.

At Umani Springs hill we confronted a gang of wood carvers and were able to arrest two of them.

During this time of year the animals tend to migrate out of the park and into the surrounding ranches and thus become vulnerable to poaching.
The main objective of the team this month was to follow the same path that the animals took. We visited Kuku, Kimana and Rombo ranches were lamping is taking place. Our intention was to patrol the areas and gather as much information as possible. It became apparent during our patrols that there is a lot of night poaching taking place with people crossing the border from Tanzania to carry out their poaching activities.

The team then moved its operations to Tsavo West national park basing itself at Komboyo and patrolling Nthongoni, the Chyulu pump, Kenani, and parts of Ngulia. We were able to apprehend a bushmeat poacher near Kenani who was on his way to Ngulia, in search of bushmeat and ivory.

Due to the rains most of the waterholes are full attracting animals and as a consequence poachers.
The track to Ngulia from Nthongoni is frequently used by poachers and his become a high priority area for our patrols.

The team wanted to end the months patrols by moving its base to Ngulia and its surrounding areas. However due to the current problem and presence of armed bandits in the Tsavo National parks we were advised to stay away as they were high risk areas. Although our patrols were hindered by the rains and the armed bandits we were able to arrest a total of 8 people.

Report by James Mbuthia