Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 August 2005

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 August 2005


Wambua Kikwatha – team leader Henry Lekochere John Mungai Julius Mtamu Gerald Maghanga 2 KWS rangers

Area Covered

The areas patrolled this month were the general Ziwani area, the railway line from Maktau towards Salaita, the Maktau area, salt lick, the Lumo ranch, Silanga, Murka and the Mukuru River.



This month was a transition period for the de-snaring team leaders. The team leaders from the Ithumba and Ziwani teams were switched each taking over the others team. For this reason the operations of the teams in both areas were disrupted slightly while the handover exercise was taking place. However we were quickly able to settle in and undertook some operations. This being the team leaders, Wambua Kikwatha, first time in the area he relied upon the tracker, who is conversant with the area, to help him decide what areas were in the most need of being patrolled.

At Ziwani, it was found that the amount of snaring has decreased. When looking at the past reports it was noted that most of the snaring activities in the area were carried out by the Ziwani farm residents where thankfully not a single snare was found this month. We did however find livestock in the park that was from the Salaita area. The team had to suspend our de-snaring operations in order to drive the animals away.

The Maktau general area also had a decrease in the amount of snaring taking place. We found that snaring is still taking place within the ranches and the privately owned land.

Most of the snares that we lifted were found in the Lumo wildlife sanctuary and in slat lick. The snares that were lifted in these areas were large in size, with 29 being lifted from salt lick.

It was surprising to note that the snares were located less than 500meters from the taveta-voi main road. 16 snares were found deep inside the Lumo wildlife sanctuary.

The communal land located outside the parks boundaries had the highest number of snares,

77 were lifted, all of which targeted small game. During our patrols we sadly came across two elephant carcasses.
Upon investigation we were able to ascertain that the elephants had been poached and killed by poisonous arrows. The tusks were missing and the meat had been chopped off. Sources tell us that the poachers are Kambas who are mainly from the Kitui area. The Taitas feased on the meat while the poachers diappeared with the ivory. Rangers were immediately dispatched to the area to assess the situation and look for the poachers. By the end of the operation two poachers, who come from Kitui but operate and live in the Mtito Andei area, were arrested.
They were taken to Taveta police station where they were booked and are awaiting trial. A total of 122 snares were lifted and two poachers arrested in a 12 day period.

Report by Wambua Kikwatha