The November operation was concentrated along the Mtito river from Kaluku (Mtito-Athi junction) and the waterholes within the triangle.
Period Of Operation 18th November-2nd December, 2001
James Mbuthia - Team leader Francis Itumo John Malonza - Tracker Julius Mwania - Tracker Shukri Boro - KWS Ranger David Lokoyen - KWS Ranger Julius Kyalo - in camp
At this period of the year when rains are plentiful the animals do not come to the river because there is sufficient water in the waterholes. The poachers tend to cross into the park through specific entry points which were difficult to locate due to overgrown vegetation. The team therefore patrolled along the river from Kaluku to Mtito town trying to locate these hotspots. Along this stretch a total of 142 snares were lifted. All were inactive, old and rusty probably left during previous patrols.
The team then moved to the waterholes. Only two waterholes showed instances of fresh snaring. An armed poacher outwitted us and escaped leaving behind a bow, four poisonous arrows and an axe; he was obviously after large game. One genet was rescued and released. Around the water holes 32 snares were lifted but sparsely located. The waterholes need to be checked regularly to keep up the pressure.
The results were expected because most of the people are busy in their farms planting. Also this is the area where community awareness has been going on for a long time. Generally, the snaring level has gone down drastically in this area.
A total of 174 snares were lifted during the November operation. The next target will be the Railway Stations within the Park.
Report written by James Mbuthia