Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 February 2006

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 February 2006

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Participants

Wambua Kikwatha - team leader John Mungai Henry Lokochari Boru Okicha Nasarwa Esmgere Gerald Maghangha 2 KWS rangers

Area Covered

During the course of the month we carried out patrols at Maktau, Taita hills, Lualenyi, Lumo, Kishushe and the Park boundary

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 52 TOTAL ARRESTS 1

Findings

Our operations this month began with the case of a sick baby elephant that was found at Ziwani. The incidence was reported to the vet who responded quickly and took care of the calf.

Taita Hills and Lualenyi Sanctuary These areas are considered to be poaching hotspots. The remains of three buffalo and one Zebra were found at Taita hills.

The meat had been stripped from the carcasses but the head and skins were conspicuously left behind. 32 snares that had been set to trap large game were lifted; they had all been made from telecom wire that had been stolen from the railway telecom lines.
For this reason it is important that all unused telecom wires are removed so that they can not be used to make snares. We are talking with the Railway management in an effort gain permission to remove all the idle telecom wires. A section of the Taita Hills sanctuary has been burned by fires. Unfortunately this has happened in an area where the animal population is high and where snaring and night poaching is taking place. Several ambushes were laid but no arrests were made. In conjunction with the Taita Hills Sanctuary Scouts we are organizing some night surveillance operations in an effort to arrest some poachers.
The Sanctuary’s management fully supports our efforts and are willing to work in conjunction with the Ziwani de-snaring team in order to eliminate poaching. The sanctuary management admits that due to the lack of resources they have not been carrying out proper patrols. After a long day patrolling the team was treated to lunch at the Taita hills resort

Maktau and Lumo Community Sanctuary Snaring has gone down to the bare minimum with only 6 snares for large game being found. Two of the snares were active while the remaining four were old and inactive. We rescued an Eland from a snare from the Lumo Maktau boundary.

The rescue effort was complicated by the fact that the snare had not tightened around the Eland’s neck and the Eland could move around. In an effort to free itself from the snare the branch that the snare was attached to had broken allowing the Eland to jump over the electric fence where it got stuck.
This further complicated the matter as we had to figure out how to free the aggressive eland from near a live wire. We were finally successful in our efforts and the Eland happily jumped away into the bush.

Kishushe Park Boundary Following information from our informers we carried out an ambush in this area. Since our de-snaring efforts started two years ago snaring in the area has declined. Unfortunately the poachers have now turned to night poaching. We were able to follow the poacher’s footprints. Unfortunately all but one of the poachers were able to evade arrest as they were at a higher point and were able to see us coming. We recovered 64 Dikdiks and eight torches which had been left behind by the fleeing poachers.

Lake Jipe area For the second month in a row our operations at Lake Jipe we were unable to patrol the area due to heavy rains which made the roads impassible. We were however able to observe that many animals, including elephants, were having a good time at the lake.

Report by Wambua Kikwatha