Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya Peter Ndungu 2 KWS Rangers
During the course of this month the areas covered included Umbi, Lagga-Kugu, Nthalakana, Sheldrick blind, Macho-Kobo, Tsavo safari camp, Buffalo bent and the area opposite the Awori farm.
135 SNARES COLLECTED
Findings During the month of June the Ithumba team managed to lift a total of 135 snares, 70 of which targeted big game and 65 targeting small game. The team was able to arrest one elephant poacher after receiving information from a reformed poacher. The arrested individual was made to assist us in lifting snares before being booked at Mtito Andei police station.
Observable Evidence The snaring patters and techniques in the areas visited have changed over the past few months. The poachers are now moving further into the park to carry out their illegal activities, which is something that was not expected. The poachers have taking to using bows and poisoned arrows as well as engaging in lamping. During its patrols the team has noticed that the poachers have began operating along the Athi river stretch and have established hideouts in the thick bushes found in the community areas bordering the park. Some other poachers are found to be moving past Thabaguju to Grenade valley in search of bigger game.
Umbi and Lagga-kugu The team began its patrols at the end of the first week of the month. Our patrols stared in the Umbi area where we rescued a Dikdik that had become trapped in a snare along the Umbi fence line.
Nthalakana airstrip, Sheldrick blind and Macho-Kobo Our aim in these areas was to check all the water points as these area the areas where poachers are erecting shooting platforms from which they are better able to target large game. While carrying out our patrols we came across some footprints that began at the Athi River and went all the way across the Yatta to the Tiva River in the Northern area of the park. We found a dead Dikdik in a poacher’s camp and also found a snared baby Dikdik.
Tsavo safari camp, Buffalo bent and opposite the Awori farm These areas all had signs of many illegal poaching activities taking place. We were able to lift 77 large snares which had been set along the animal trails along the Athi river stretch. We followed the footprints that led us to a farm across the river where we were able to arrest a poacher.
We were also able to arrest an elephant poacher, as he crossed the river into the park. The poacher was only 17 years of age.
COMMUNITY AWARENESS During the first week of the month we organized a football competition between the Ithumba football club and the community youth clubs.
During the last week of the month we were able to donate 40 new desks to Tsavo primary school.
Report by Patrick Mutuku