Felix Micheni Peter Ndungu Samuel Lolchuraki Julius Mumo Boru Okicha 2 KWS Rangers- Ishmael Shongolo and Isaac Melly
During the month of September the Gazi team was able to patrol the following areas, the Tsavo Safari Camp, Cotters upstream, the areas around Kambu and the Athi river junctions, opposite Kilalinda Camp, Kona ya Nyati and the general Mukua Nima area.
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 326 ARRESTS 5
The Gazi team started its September operations with patrols in the general area surrounding Tsavo Safari Camp. We were able to conclude that the area was no longer being used by poachers and that it was no longer a poaching hotspot. On our way to Mtito we came across a poacher whom we were able to arrest as he tried to escape. With the assistance of the gate rangers we booked him at Mtito Police Station.
During our patrols at the junction of the Kambu and Athi rivers we found no snares which means that the poachers have either given up snaring or have relocated moving further inland. It is unlikely that they have given up poaching and what has probably happened is that they have moved their operations to another area. This fact was corroborated by the fact that once we moved upstream we came across a frequently used poachers track. Upon searching the surroundings we discovered that the area had been heavily snared and that the snares had simply been removed and hidden before our arrival. We immediately laid an ambush. Two hours later a poacher named John Nyamai who was in possession of a panga and a sack.
As we moved further upstream we came across very little in the way of poaching activities. The only place that yielded snares was Kona ya Nyati were a we lifted 25 snares.
We were glad to notice that there has been a decline in illegal activities in the Mukua Nima general area, although there was signs of serious environmental degradation caused by the logging of trees for charcoal burning.
Due to the prevailing dry spell in Tsavo most wild animals especially Elephants seem to concentrate their activities close to the river due to the unavailability of water deeper in the park. We therefore felt that we needed to carry out our patrols in theses areas in order to protect the wildlife from the poachers.
During our patrols along the Athi River we came across a young bush buck whose back leg had become caught in a wire snare.
Report by Felix Micheni