Alex Macharia – team leader Francis Chege Semeli Lolchuraki Nterito Kapina James Nuymu Vincent Mutua 6 KWS rangers
During the course of the month of April the following areas were patrolled by the Mtito de-snaring team: Mangerete, the Tsavo Triangle, the Mtito river circuit, Kenani and Kanga and Kilalinda farm.
42 SNARES COLLECTED 4 ARRESTS
During the course of the month a total of 42 snares were lifted during the team’s patrols. Of the snares retrieves 11 were big snares, 6 were medium snares and 26 were small snares.
Mangarete area This area can be found at the boundary of Tsavo West National Park. It is located between two prominent poaching hotspots, Mtito and Thongoni. There were a lot of human activities in this area. Logging and charcoal burning were evident as was snaring with 13 snares being lifted.
Tsavo Triangle Due to its proximity to the rhino populations in Tsavo east national park this area is poaching hotspot that needs to be exhaustively patrolled every month. Our patrols are hindered by the deep thickets and rugged terrain that are found here. The area was very dry which made it easy to predict where the poachers would set their snares. The reason for this is that the poachers would only set their snares around the few water sources found in the area. We therefore concentrated our activities around the few full waterholes and were able to lift a total of 16 snares.
Mtito River Circuit The only evidence of human activities in the area was the illegal grazing of cattle in the park. Upon seeing us the herders fled in order to avoid arrest. The cattle do not need to be supervised and can be left to graze in the park returning back to the bomas in the evening. For this reason it is difficult to arrest the herders as they do not stay with their cattle for the whole day. No snares were collected in the area as in order to avoid the cattle being snared the poachers do not set their snares where they graze their livestock.
Kenani/Kanga In terms of poaching this is a hotspot area and for this reason we visit the Kenani/Kanga area every month. This area is located along the Nairobi Mombasa highway giving poachers easy access to public transport and a quick means of escape when under threat of arrest. We visited all the old hideouts none of which showed signs of human activity. This however does not mean that poaching is not taking place as the area is vast and full of dense vegetation.
Kilalinda farm This area is part of the community land around Tsavo National Park. We received information that snaring was taking place and upon patrolling the area were able to remove 8 big snares all of which had been set around the ranches fence line.
Security Towards the end of the month we received information that armed shiftas had been sighted near the Tsavo River and Athi River Circuits, which are areas that we normally patrol. Due to this sighting the team was assigned extra rangers and our patrols were curtailed forcing us to end our operations early.
Report by Alex Macharia