Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 November 2007
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 Kalovoto, Kanziku, Tundani, Lagga Kungu, the Powerline, the Thalakana airstrip, the Kasaala fence line and Gazi.
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 46 ARRESTS 2
The team started its patrols during the second week of the month. The rains had already started making several sections of the roads in the Tsavo Northern Area impassible, especially the areas from the park base towards the Kanziku gate and towards the Kasaala gate, where there is a lot of black cotton soil. Another problem area was along the Tiva River towards Tundani where the road was impassible due to the fact that it was submerged.
During the first week of our patrols we managed to patrol along the fence line and the general Kalovoto area. We also patrolled the power line, Tundani and Kanziku. We did not find any snares or any signs of illegal human activities taking place in these areas.
As from the 20th of November, the team moved its patrols to the Sheldrick blind and the Thalakana airstrip. We have noticed that lately the poachers are moving deeper into the park where it is harder to spot their illegal activities. However, due to our intelligence network we were not only able to track and find the poachers but also able to arrest them.
At the Thalakana airstrip we found little evidence of human activities. We therefore moved our desnaring activities to the Gazi area where last month over 600 snares were lifted and a number of illegal activities noticed. On the 24th we found fresh footprints leading across the Athi River. Due to the heavy rains the poacher had removed his snares and left the area before we arrived.
There was little evidence of illegal human activities further upstream on the Athi. Over the years it has become apparent that during the rains the levels of poaching decline and generally there is little evidence of poaching. This is due to the fact that the rains make it difficult to predict the animal’s behaviour as there is a lot of water and vegetation so the wildlife is scattered throughout the park.
On the 27th we laid an ambush across a known poacher’s route at Kona Ya Nyati. We were able to arrest two poachers who were in possession of a panga, axes and a tape measure.
On the 28th we patrolled along a stream that usually has salt water in it. We came across several sets of footprints and found a shooting platform. The area was full of animal footprints as well which explains the presence of poachers in the area.
Report by Patrick Mutuku