Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 March 2006

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 March 2006

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Participants

Mathew Kiura – team leader Feisal Muteti Julius Kyalo Samuel Masaku Kathuki Makwanu 2KWS Rangers

Areas Covered

During the month of March, the Mtito team patrolled and conducted ambushes along the Mtito river circuit and part of the triangle. The areas covered were Mangelete, Kanga, Nguumo, Kyosiani, Ngiluni and the general Mtito area.

214 SNARES COLLECTED 6 ARRESTS

Findings

A total of 214 snares were retrieved, ¾ of which targeted small game such as Dikdik, with the rest targeting medium sized game such as gazelles, and birds, mainly guinea fowl. The most number of snares were recovered in Nguumo, 90, where we were also able to arrest 1 poacher. The least number of snares collected were found in Ngiluni where we only collected a total of 5 snares.

Six people were arrested for various offences, and one poacher was able to escape. All but one of the individuals arrested were illegally grazing and herding their cattle in the park. The sixth person was arrested for the destruction of vegetation in the park. 4 of the herdsmen were arrested in Mangalete with the other two being arrested in Nguumo and Mtito. All of those arrested were booked at Mtito police station.

Observable Evidence During the months operation we discovered a hiding/resting harbor at Kanga that had fresh traces of fire. Destruction of vegetation was rampant in the Nguumo area, where we noticed that fire was being used to fell trees. At Kyosiani, we came across footprints that led out of the park. Upon following the footprints we came to a homestead where we found several wire snares and a blood stained jacket. At Ngiluni there was active charcoal burning and we found several sacks of charcoal that had been stacked together awaiting transportation to market.

Elephant rescue On the 28th of March wile patrolling the Mangelete river circuit in Tsavo West; we came across a lone young male elephant.

The calf was less than 10 months old and weighed about 250 kilograms.
It was fairly healthy but was covered in ticks. Despite the fact that it was weak it had not lost the will to live and was moving around gently feeding on the wild foliage in the area. The Mtito desnaring team, upon realizing that the calf was an orphan, moved in and rescued the calf with help from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
The calf was immobilized and taken to the Komboyo airstrip where he was airlifted to Nairobi.

British Army Training

The training kicked off on the 12th of March. The Royal Marines imparted alot of information and skills to the de-snaring teams that will aid them to carry our their patrols and de-snaring efforts more efficiently and effectively in the future.
The course involved teaching the de-snaring team members patrolling skills, navigation skills, map reading skill and First aid.
In addition the team leaders were trained on commanding skills while the other members were engaged in various physical exercises.

The training lasted for 5 days ending on the 17th of March. We would like to thank the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Management and the Royal Marines for their support and dedication during the training.

Report by Mathew Kiura