Patrick Mutuku Musau Kitulya Samuel Lolcharki Adan Abdi Noah Lesimirdana
During the month of December the Ithumba Team patrolled the following areas: Ithumba Hill, Kassala Fence line, Kimathenya Hill, Kalovoto and Lagga- Kugu. Together with Ziwani Team and the Amboseli-Tsavo Community Game Scouts the Team also patrolled Mbirikani Group Ranch, Selengai Ranch, Kimana Sanctuary, and the outskirts of Amboseli National Park.
During the course of the month the Northern area of Tsavo received considerable amounts of rain. The arrival of the rains has been a great relief as the land is beginning to recover from the drought. This drought was one of the worst Kenya has ever experienced and the loss of wildlife has been tremendous, not only due to drought but also because of increasing poaching. Now that the waterholes have replenished and vegetation is growing wild animals are beginning to recover and spread out.
On the second week of December the Team carried out vehicle Patrols around Ithumba Hill. The poaching activity in the area seems to have decreased as no poachers’ tracks were seen. During patrols along the Kasaala Fenceline the team saw 3 lions on the Community side of the fence.
Team Leaders Meeting in Nairobi
On the 18th of Dec the Team Leaders from all the Anti-poaching Teams from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust met in Nairobi for new equipment training. Each Team is now equiped with a GPS modem that has the ability to take photos, as well as collect specific data which the Teams are collecting in the field. This is a hugely useful tool as it can take photos, track movements, direction, co-ordinates, time, and speed which aids the Team Leaders in managing their Patrol plans as well as assisting in the Data Collection for the Geographical Information System the Trust is setting up. The Team can now download maps and enter data from the field into a mapping system. This will aid in improving the Field Management as well as in decision making and report production.
Joint Operation at Amboseli- Tsavo Community Ranches
Following the meeting in Nairobi, the Ziwani Team teamed up with the Ithumba Team and the Rangers from the Mbirikani Group Ranch.
Selengai Group Ranch
Following the Patrols in Mbirikani Group Ranches, the Teams splits up into two groups, one patrolled Selengai Group Ranch, with while the other Patrolled close to the Kenya- Tanzania border that runs near Amboseli National Park. With the Christmas festive season approaching, the Team anticipated large amounts of illegal activities to take place as everyone prepares for a holiday. Selengai Community Ranch is between Amboseli National Park and Emali. This area is predominantly inhabited by Maasai Tribe. The areas of Emali and Sultan Hamud are mainly inhabited by pastoralist tribes from the Kaptei clan who concentrate on farming. These communities are culturally influenced by their neighbouring Kamba Tribes. Most poaching incidences were found in the border of Selengai group Ranch and the Kaptei area. Two giraffe carcasses were found, both of which were poached recently.
Kimana Community Sanctuary
On the 27th the Team together with the group it had been assigned patrolled the Kimana Sanctuary and camped at the lion stockades. There are 5 orphaned lions at this Sanctuary which are being looked after before being released back into the wild.
Due to the arrival of heavy rainstorms Patrols were somewhat hindered towards the end of the month. This area is prone to flash flooding so a lot of roads and paths became impossible to pass.
During the 1st week of the month the team was given sports equipment from a regular Donor which was donated to Kaluluini Primary School.
The Team also assisted in delivering water to Church Youth Training Camp at Kasaala. The Team used the Trusts water bowser to deliver 3 loads to the Camp.
The Team attended two community meetings at Kimweli area. The community policing group has been very diligent at reporting poaching incidences to the Team.
Report written by Patrick Mutuku