Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 January 2004

Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 January 2004

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Participants

Wambua kikwatha - team leader Munywoki kisangi - tracker Mwoni ikuthu - cook Feisal muteti Wekesa mhebi - car guard

Operation Areas. This month’s operation was centered on the Ithumba base, Tiva river course and the adjacent areas, Kasaala Kimweli boundary. Tharakana and the Yatta were also patrolled.

Findings The operation started with patrols along the Tiva River. This month we found that there were relatively fewer snares collected compared to the previous months. Possibly due to this time of the year, many people especially along the river concentrate on honey harvesting. A joint operation between the Gazi team and the Ithumba team was undertaken at Tharakana area and the Macho Kombo area. In two days we managed to retrieve 108 snares. One poacher was arrested while his accomplice escaped. It was reveled that the escapee is a well-known poacher who was also involved in the Tundani elephant killing two years ago. After the joint operation in this area the two teams carried own with their own operation, the Gazi team heading towards Cottars while Ithumba team went back to Tiva and Kasaala. This area had very few snares. This could be partly attributed to the newly erected fence and our constant de-snaring in the area. Poachers now dominating the gazi area are said to have shifted from this end. All the poachers arrested at Gazi come from this area and inside information reveals that some members of the community look them after. After checking this area, the team moved to the umbi – mukomwe cutline. This area well known for charcoal burners, they access the park using bicycles. This makes tracking them more complicated because they circle to the interior where it is difficult to get to by car. Umbi mukomwe yielded very few snares however bicycle tyer marks were noticed entering and leaving the park. The area between Kimathenya and umbi yielded 495 snares. One poacher was arrested. During this month a total of 623 snares were lifted. Report compiled by

Wambua Kikwatha.