Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 September 2008

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 September 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 August the following areas were patrolled by the Mtito de-snaring team: Mangarete & Ngulia Area, Kilaguni Area, and Chullu gate.

117 SNARES COLLECTED 1 ARRESTS

Findings

Mangarete and Ngulia areas: This area is notorious for its high levels of poaching, particularly using snares as well logging, and charcoal burning. We managed to lift a total of 72 snares and arrest one poacher. The team found 3 snared buffalo carcasses in this area.

Kilaguni area: This area has a high population of wildlife due to an artificial water point provided by the hotel management. Unfortunately the congregation of this wildlife has attracted poachers deep into the park and closer to the lodge to hunt the game coming for this water. The team has in the past remove allot of snares from this area. This month however the team only found 17 snares in the area which is relatively low considering the usual amounts.

The team found an elephant carcass with tusks removed.
This is most likely an elephant that was poached for its ivory. The poachers in this area have taken up hunting from raised shooting platforms.

Chullu Gate: Chullu gate leis just next to Kilaguni area and therefore poaching activities are taking place. The team came across a carcass of a giraffe however the cause of death was unknown.

We have reason to believe the death was of natural causes as there was no visible evidence of man-inflicted injury. The team came across a snared Impala which died shortly after having the snare removed from a wound on its abdominal area as well as the snare wound on its neck.
28 snares were removed from this area.

Elephant Rescue: We received information from Kilaguni Loge staff that a lone elephant calf had been spotted at the water hole in Kilaguni; it had been seen alone for 3 days. According to witnesses the calf was desperately trying to find company from other elephant herds. Due to the calf’s young age it is unlikely a mother with a milk dependent baby will accept another calf to suckle her milk. Upon arrival at Kilaguni the team found some tracks of the calf but unfortunately lost the trial. The team patrolled the entire day in search of the calf with no luck, darkness came and the team had to stop their search. The next day the team set off early in the morning to search for the orphaned elephant calf. We followed footprints for 4 hours until we found the calf about 7km from the lodge. The calf was desperate, lonely, weak and thirsty. The calf initially tried to put up a fight, we handled him with care but didn’t want him to get away hence we restrained him and held him down. We had to tie the calf’s legs in order to keep him from getting away. Once captured the calf didn’t resist. The calf was rescued by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and taken to be amongst the other orphans who will return to the wild later on in their lives.

Community Outreach: The team organized 2 school trips; the schools taken on a trip were Matangini Pry Primary School and Maia Atatu Primary School. Both school visited the Tsavo West National Park in the following areas: Mzima Springs, Chaimu Volcanic Hills, Kilaguni Lodge, Shetani Lava, Rhino Sanctuary, various volcanic caves and a game drive. During Game drives the children saw elephants, buffaloes, impalas, giraffes, wild dogs, zebras, warthogs and some monkeys.

Report by Alex Macharia