Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 August 2008

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 August 2008


Henry Lekochere – team leader John Mungai Abdi Adan Boru Okicha Gerald Maghanga Sylvester Matheka 2 KWS Rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of August, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Maktau and Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tsavo River


FINDINGS During the months operations the team lifted a total of 107 snares. Ninety two of the snares targeted large game, with 15 snares targeting small game.

The team was able to arrest two poachers at the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. The team also came across an elephant’s carcass during its patrols at the same sanctuary in which the poachers were arrested.

Observable evidence: This month most of the areas patrolled by the team recorded a decrease in the number of snares lifted. This decrease however is not due to a decrease in the number of poachers, but rather to a change in the poaching method. The poachers are opting to carry out the poaching activities at night using the lamping method.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary We carried out patrols at the sanctuary for the period of a week. During this time we noticed that poaching continues to take place in this area. A total of 57 snares were lifted all of which targeted large game. The Ziwani desnaring team was able to arrest two poachers caught in the process of setting their snares.

The team was also involved in the rescue of a young elephant, about 5 months old. The young calf was airlifted from the Sanctuary and taken to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nursery unit in Nairobi.
Two days before the rescue of the young calf the team came across the carcass of an elephant.
It is suspected that the dead elephant could be the young calf’s mother.

While in the process of arresting one of the poachers he turned on a KWS ranger, who was approaching him in order to place him under arrest. The poacher threatened to cut the ranger with a panga, cutting the KWS rangers gun in the process.

In order to defend himself the KWS ranger shot at the poacher wounding him.
The wounded poacher was taken to the Voi District Hosptial where he received treatment for his wound. At this time the area councilor also came to the hospital with a group of people and was overheard trying to unite the group against the Ziwani desnaring team members.

Maktau and Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary Following last months operations in the Maktau area and its environs we noticed that this month there was a decrease in the level of snaring taking place in these areas. We lifted a total of 27 snares during our patrols.

Logging and charcoal burning is also proving to be a major problem in the Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tsavo River We patrolled this area for a period of eight days. This area is not only a sensitive area, due to the surrounding communities, but also a poaching hotspot. Poachers operating in this area target animals for bush meat, and elephants for their ivory. Cases of armed poachers operating in the area have been reported to the team and to the Kenya Wildlife Service. During our patrols we tracked the footprints of three poachers along the river bank and were able to lift 23 snares all of which had been recently set, which is another indication that poaching is an ongoing problem the Tsavo River.

The team recovered a pair of tusks at Lualenyi ranch.

Report by Henry Lekochere