Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 February 2003

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 February 2003

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Area covered

Mtito river stretch, pipeline cut line, Tsavo West boundary to the Chyulu hills and waterholes within the triangle and pipeline cut line.

Participants

James Mbuthia – Team Leader David Njoroge – Assistant John Malonza - Tracker Julius Mwania – Security Masaku Banga – In camp Stephen Ngigi – KWS Shukri Bory – KWS

Findings

We collected a total of 148 snares; the majority of them were set for Dik Diks while only 3% were set for larger animals. We found a bow and four poisoned arrows at Matangini area that has become a major hotspot during our operation. Last month we found an axe in the same area. Water was a real problem throughout this month, we had to look for it while we were based at Komboyo campsite. However new waterholes were discovered and therefore e showed the presence of people deep inside the park, this might be a result of poachers having to move deeper into the park in order to avoid our presence. The majority of waterholes in the triangle were visited although quite a few had dried up. I feel that the real problem at the moment as well as the snares is the use of arrows at all the waterholes which is a fast and effective way of killing and animal and so regular checks are imperative at all waterholes until they have at least dried up. Unfortunately we spotted a carcass of a dead elephant from the air when we were on the KWS air patrol. Having reached the place later that day we discovered 2 tusks weighing as much as 23kg together.

Community Awareness

On the 22.02.03, thanks to the generous donations that we have received, Mangalete primary school went on a school wildlife trip into Tsavo West National park. Yet again the majority of the people had never been onto the park and it was great for them to learn al about the animals and the environment. Kamunyu, Ivani and Mangalete primary schools also benefited from their video shows. Nine schools benefited this month from the kind donation of sports equipment; each school received a net and volleyball. The schools included the following, Kamunyu, Ivani, Ngiluni, Kyusiani, Nthunguni, Kikwasuni, Matangini, Mangalete and Mahilani. Added to that Ivani football club also received 2 balls and one net. We also held our conservation talks with the pupils and community members, they were as usual very grateful and promised to cooperate with us in good faith.