The areas that we visited this month were The Triangle, Kenani, the Tsavo West boundary along Mangelete, Yumbuni, Ngulia, The pipeline and the Tsavo West waterholes and their surrounding environs.
261 SNARES COLLECTED
A total of 261 snares were lifted during the months operations which were carried out along the major poaching hotspots and the discovering of new areas where poaching is taking place. 3 Dikdiks, and 1 Bushbuck were rescued from snares.
Unfortunately a further 4 Dikdiks were found dead in the snares that they had gotten caught in.
We were able to apprehend 6 bush meat poachers, 4 charcoal burners, and 18 cattle grazers. One handcart, 2 bicycles, 2 bows and 12 poisonous arrows were confiscated. Forty slaughtered Dikdiks and 2 sacks of dried Impala meat were recovered from the poachers.
One of the poachers that was arrested has been poaching within the park for the past 15 years. He was able to give our team information about poacher’s hideouts which led to the arrest of 4 more poachers
. We offered him a job as an informer and hope that he will be able to give us more information about the poaching activities taking place in Tsavo National Park. The triangle was our top priority during the operations as there is a large elephant population and rhinos present in the area which need to be safeguarded from the poachers. Together with the rhino monitoring team we were able to arrest poachers who were found with poisonous arrows. A large number of snares were lifted which had been set by two poachers who had been arrested by the Mtito de-snaring team the day before.
Over the next few months the team will work on trying to siphon more information from the poachers in order to discover new poaching hotspots in Tsavo as the poachers are moving further into the park in order to avoid being detected by our de-snaring team.
Charcoal burning is also a major problem in Tsavo West and it has negatively impacts water catchments.
The continual destruction of the environment has contributed to the drought that has been experienced in Tsavo. As a consequence some of the springs that feed the Mtito River have dried up. Also evident was the pressure that is put on the park’s boundary by livestock. Due to the fact that there are no grazing reserves in the community lands herders are moving their livestock into the park to feed. Many herds of cattle were found within the park’s boundaries and 18 people were arrested. These arrests could negatively impact the work done on community awareness especially so if the livestock dies due to lack of food on community lands. A further 4 people were arrested in the Yumbuni and Mangelete areas and 2 bicycles were confiscated.
Together with the help of the KWS rangers our operations this month were very successful.
Report by James Mbuthia