Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 October 2006
Patrick Mutuku Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya Rajab Hamisi 2 KWS Rangers
During the course of this month the areas covered were: The Kasaala fence line, Kanziko, Syomanyenze, Tundani, Lagga Kungu, and the Shetani caves.
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 379 2 ARRESTS
The first week of the month the team was preparing to receive the US Trustees and friends. On the 6/10/06 they came to inspect all the projects that the Trust has undertaken at Ithumba and in the Northern area of Tsavo.
This month the team dedicated its de-snaring efforts to the setting up of observation points and the laying of ambushes. The team decided to change its strategy in order to enable it to arrest the poachers who have been reported to be entering the park on a daily basis. This change in conjunction with the gathering of information was successful and the team was able to arrest 4 poachers, unfortunately a fifth poacher was able to evade arrest. One of our informers was able to show us how in the dry season the poachers extract water from narrow holes using grass tufts, allowing us to see how even in the dry season poachers are able to remain in the park for long periods of time.
The teams de-snaring operations were disrupted by the withdrawal of the rangers as they were needed to help with security problems elsewhere. Another problem that hindered our operations was the breakdown of our vehicle. Nevertheless the team kept itself busy setting ambushes, setting observation points, and carrying out vehicle patrols, so as to make our presence felt. After receiving information from our informers we laid an ambush on the 17/10/06 near the Kimweli gate. A poacher appeared at the time relayed to us by the informers and crossed the fence. Unfortunately he noticed us and was able to evade arrest. The following day we laid an ambush at the power-line and were able to arrest a poacher who had crossed the fence-line. The poacher then took us to his snares.
We have noticed an increase in the number of wildlife found near the park headquarter. Two ostriches have been spotted along the road on the way to the Kasaala gate and a number of cheetahs and a pride of lions have been seen near the park base. This could be due to the availability of water at the stockade which means that the predators are following their prey who come to the stockades to quench their thirst.
This month our community awareness initiatives were carried out in the Kanziko area. We visited the Kakithya community and showed them several wildlife films.
Report by Patrick Mutuku