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