Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 July 2008

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 July 2008

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Participants

Alex Macharia – team leader Francis Chege Semeli Lolchuraki Nterito Kapina James Nuymu Vincent Mutua 4 KWS rangers

Areas Covered

During the course of the month of June the following areas were patrolled by the Mtito de-snaring team: Kilaguni, Ngulia, Tsavo river, Mangerete, Kenani, Kanga, The Triangle, Mtito river, and the private lands in the area (Kilalinda, Tsavo farm, Porters farm, the Trust land and Kaluku)

607 SNARES COLLECTED 4 ARREST

Findings

The below is the Mtito desnaring teams monthly report for the moth of July 2008. It is worth nothing that there has been an increase in the number of elephants being poached with a poacher being gunned down by KWS. The culprit was in possession of tusks and was in the process of escaping together with his accomplices. During the course of the month we laid over five ambushes in an attempt to arrest the elephant poachers who had entered the park. We received word that the poachers had been confronted by rangers in another section of the park. They were shot at and, even though they escaped, it is believed that they sustained bullet wounds.

During the course of the month a total of 607 snares were lifted during the team’s patrols. Of the snares retrieves 22were big snares, 63 were medium snares and 522 were small snares.

Mangerete Charcoal kilns are common in this area where charcoal burning is an ever increasing problem. We think that the increase in charcoal burning and snaring is due to the drought that has hit the area as well as its proximity to the park.

Mangerete has been used as an entry point by poachers who operate in Nguli and Kilaguni. A logger was arrested in possession of snares.
It is important to note that loggers are also involved in charcoal burning and are guilty of setting snares in the areas around their kilns. A total of 174 small snares were collected during our patrols.

Triangle, Kenani, and Kanga areas The team laid several ambushes along active tracks in the area and was able to arrest 3 poachers. The culprits were in possession of 98 snares that they were planning to set deep in the park. Upon interrogation they told us that they used public transport to access the areas as they are located along the Mombasa/Nairobi highway. They were also in possession of 2 dead dikdiks, a panga and an axe.

Mtito River Circuit At the moment the river circuit is the only water source for the wildlife such as buffaloes and elephants. It is therefore not surprising that that we lifted 77 small snares and 21 big and medium sized snares targeting buffaloes and gazelles. This area is often used by poachers to enter the triangle as it is easily accessible from the highway and the Mtito river boundary. There are also salt licks along the river which attract the antelopes and buffaloes as well as other animals. Logging is also taking place along the Mtito River Circuit

Kilaguni/Chullu, Ngulia Shooting platforms are often seen and there is also evidence of animals having been snared in the area. A carcass of a poached elephant was sighted.

Two poachers were able to escape arrest but sustained gunshot wounds while doing so. Six large snares were lifted near a water point that had been dug in the vicinity of the Kilaguni hotel.

Community/private lands With the dry spell now in full swing food for the wildlife is becoming scarcer which has caused an increase in the level of snaring in the privately owned lands. Small sized game, such as dikdiks are most often the target of the snares. Outside the private lands the team lifted 131 snares.

COMMUNITY WORK This month Ngiluni primary school was the recipient of a variety of games equipment. The impact that the donations have had on the schools have strengthened the teams bond with the communities in the area.

As a result parents have began directing us to snares that have been set in the community lands and we often receive calls about goats and other cattle that have become caught in snares. This could be a contributing factor to the increase in the number of snares being found in the private lands. Information about suspected poachers has also been passed on to us by community members.

Report by Alex Macharia