Nyati Team Tiva Update: 01 July 2006

Nyati Team Tiva Update: 01 July 2006

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GAZI TEAM

De – Snaring Report for June 2006

Participants

Felix Micheni Peter Ndunugu Samuel Lolchuraki James Lodungkiyok Julius Mumo Boru Okicha 2 KWS Rangers- Samuel Wandera & Peter Musyoka

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the Gazi Team patrolled the area around Tsavo Safari Camp, Kona ya Nyati, Athi River, and the general Gazi area.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 65 TOTAL ARRESTS 3

Findings

The month of July started off slow because the team had problems with their vehicle. Therefore the vehicle had to be taken to Nairobi to be fixed. The Gazi Teams car took longer than we anticipated to be fixed and therefore we were not able to begin our operations until the 14th of the month.

Once the vehicle was up and running the Gazi Team set straight to work starting with the area between Athi River and Gazi Hills which is a notorious area for illegal charcoal burning and poaching. On the banks of the Athi River we spotted a man in the process of charcoal burning we quietly ambushed him and arrested him.

He was very quick to give us information on other illegal activity in the Park such as charcoal burning, poaching and cattle grazing.

The following day, we were informed by management of the need to establish a permanent camp in Gazi area. The Gazi team took up this challenge eagerly as this meant being able to make a stronger impact on the area of jurisdiction. The Gazi team moved into the Gazi area and began extensive road clearing activities in order to clear the road of the over grown bushes.

A clear road is vital for the Team Operations as it means swift movement for the team without alerting the perpetrators. The clearing took a week. Following the hard labour of the clearing we were joined by 2 KWS rangers so that the team can begin an intensive de-snaring operation in the surrounding area for the next 6 days.

On the 4th day, we were patrolling the Kona ya Nyati area when we spotted a poacher setting his snares along the river bank. We laid an ambush for him and caught him red handed as he went about his poaching activities. He was in possession of several snares targeting big game such as buffalo.

He also has several rods for fishing. We have always suspected that the poaching in this area was being carried out by the people from surrounding farms. This arrest proved our suspicions true as this poacher was an employee of the neighbouring farm.

The following day we proceeded to patrol upstream near the Gazi airstrip when along the road we came along fresh foot prints. We followed these foot prints all the way to Muka Meni Village. These foot prints led us straight to a renowned poacher’s home. We surrounded his house, in preparation of his capture as this poacher has proved to be of a slippery nature from previous pursuits. His reaction to being captured and arrested was one of shock and surprise. We searched his home and found a slaughtered Dikdik and poaching equipment.

He was taken to the police station for arrest and there he informed us of 3 other poachers who carry out lamping in the area. All the information we get will greatly help us in the future months of patrol.

The Gazi Team feels that as we are approaching the drier season, illegal activities in the rural areas specifically poaching will rise and therefore so will the need for more intensive patrols of the Gazi area.

Report by Patrick Mutuku and Felix Micheni