Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 February 2006

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 February 2006

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Participants

James Mbuthia – team leader Feisal Muteti Jackson Kyalo Mathew Kiura Samuel Masaku Kathuki Makwanu 4KWS Rangers

Areas Covered

The areas that we visited this month were Ngiluni, the Mtito circuit, Mangelete, the Chulu pump, Ngulia hills and Rhino valley, Kitani, the pipeline and railway at Kanga and the areas around Kivuthini and Kwasera.

50 SNARES COLLECTED 6 ARRESTS

Findings

A Total of 50 snares were lifted and 6 people were arrested during the course of the month. Those arrested included 1 logger, 3 ivory poachers. No animals were found in snares.

We feel that the reason that a small number of snares were found is due to fact that we have been successful in our anti-snaring operations. The Mtito de-snaring team has noticed that there has been an increase in the number of animals inside the Tsavo triangle which is another indicator that the amount of snaring taking place has decreased. The team patrolled the areas that it visited extensively and thankfully there were no indicators of snared animals. This could mean that we have frustrated the poachers causing them to stop poaching or alternatively they have switched to other poaching methods such as lamping and arrowshooting. These new methods mean that the team now has to carry out more of its operations at night in an effort to apprehend any culprits.

While patrolling at Mangelete an elephant was found that had been killed by poisoned arrows. The elephant had been dead for about four days. While observing the scene an arrow was found next to the body and various footprints were also seen.

The team received information from an informer that two poachers had been seen in possession of elephant tusks that they were trying to sell. Following this tip the two suspected ivory poachers were found, arrested and interrogated. At this point the case was handed over to the KWS intelligence service for further investigation. The poachers were booked at Mtitio Andei police station where they are awaiting trial.

Due to the drought and the drying up of the river more animals are prone to poaching as they go in search of water, often drinking from isolated pools where they are vulnerable to the poachers. For this reason the Mtito team has decided to concentrate its de-snaring efforts along the various rivers, Mtito, Tsavo, Athi and the Mzima pipelines as well as the areas in and around Ngulia hills.

One logger was arrested during our patrols at Mtito and Ngiluni where we also recovered 43 snares. Two individuals were arrested at Kivuthini for the destruction of vegetation in the area.

Unfortunately another two poachers and 3 loggers were able to evade arrest. A slaughter den with a fresh fire and a drying line was uncovered during our patrols at Kanga.

BUFFALO RESCUE

The team worked in conjunction with the Voi unit team in order to pull a sub adult buffalo from a dried up water reservoir that was located on Marti Foster’s land.

The animal did not have any visible injuries and was safely returned to the park. We requested that the staff at Fosters farm seal the well to avoid any future incidences of the same kind.

Report by James Mbuthia