Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 August 2007

Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 August 2007

Share the article

Participants

Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya Rajab Hamisi 2 KWS Rangers

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the areas covered were: Lagga-Kungu, Kyamanyenze, Kyae rock, Tundani, the Tiva River stretch, the edge of the Yatta, Macho-Kobo, Kanzino, Umbi and the powerline.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 252 1 ARREST

Findings

Our operations during the month of August were concentrated around the main waterpoints and the snaring hotspots. Our goal during the first week was to patrol the area around the Ithumba park headquarters as past experience has taught us that poachers set snares where we least expect them to. At Lagga-Kungu we came across fresh footprints which led us to some set snares and to the carcasses of two lesser Kudus trapped in snares. A total of 10 snares were lifted. Although only a few snares were lifted it is important to note that the small number of snares has been effective in trapping animals.

During the second week of our operations we set camp at Kyamanyenze. This was done sot that we could cover a larger area, namely the edge of the Yatta, Tundani, Macho-kobo, Kaye rock and the Tiva River stretch. We found that the illegal grazing of goats and other cattle is taking place along the Tiva River.

We came across a 10 year old boy, grazing his cattle, who had with the aid of his dogs had killed a rock hyrax.
Due to his age we were not able to arrest him. We decided to set an ambush at the fenceline which led to the arrest of 1 poacher. Upon interrogation the poacher revealed that he was on his way to sell his bushmeat and that he had left his two accomplices at their hideout. We immediately went to their camp and set up an ambush. Unfortunately the two poachers did not return. The one arrested poacher was booked at the nearest police station. While searching the hideout we found that the poachers had killed a pregnant buffalo and a didkdik.
They had dried the meat on the tree tops. 5 large snares were also found in the hideout. As of late Kyae rock has become a poaching hotspot with the team lifting 17 snares and finding one dead snared Dikdik. We were happy to sight two large bushbucks and a large family of elephants with young calves.

Apart from honey hunting we did not find any other illegal activities during our patrols at Tundani and Macho-kobo. Two hyenas were spotted in the area.

We received information from the gate attendants that poachers were entering the park on a daily basis from Kanziko. We therefore moved our camp to Kimathenya hill and proceeded to patrol the area. We were able to lift 68 snares and rescue one Dikdik. Unfortunately we came across the carcasses of two dead snared Dikdiks.

We feel that the poacher who set the snares must be a seasoned poacher as he had cleverly concealed his footprints. During our patrols we saw another herd of elephants which means that the animals must feel safe and are thus returning to the Northern area.

At Mathae, which has become a poaching hotspot, we lifted 56 small snares. In an effort to arrest the culprits we laid an ambush which did not lead to any arrests.

During the third week of our operations we re-visited Kyae rock where we lifted another 19 snares and found one dead snared Dikdik. We also spotted a lone bull roaming around the area. We then moved our operations to the Umbi area where we came across fresh footprints which led to a poacher’s hideout.

We mounted an ambush but the poacher did not return. 67 snares were lifted and 3 dead lesser kudu’s and 3 dead dikdik were found.
Later on we came across another poacher’s hideout that had not been used for a while. We decided to return to the first hideout but the poacher had still not returned. We were able to lift another 5 snares.

As noted earlier we have found that there has been an increase in the success rate of the snares that are set by the poachers. We feel that there is a need to gather more intelligence information in order to keep abreast with the poachers changing trends.

Report by Patrick Mutuku