Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 January 2006

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 January 2006

Participants Wambua Kikwatha - team leader John Mungai Henry Lekocheli Boru Okicha Gerald Maghangha KWS rangers

Area Covered

During the course of the month we carried out patrols at Lake Jipe, Murka, Maktau, the Taita Hills and Lumo community wildlife Sanctuaries, along the Tsavo River and Mzima springs pipeline, Kishushe, Oza and Lualenyi ranches.



Taita Hills, Lumo and Lualenyi Our operations in this area started with the rescue of a baby elephant at Lualenyi. The calf had been spotted by the staff at the ranch and was reported to be alone, no other elephants in site, but in a group of buffaloes. Our team was called to assist in the rescue operation, once under our care the calf was taken to the Voi orphanage.

During our patrols at the Taita hills sanctuary we found that there is a lot of snaring taking place especially in the areas bordering community land. Within a period of 2 days, during which we covered an area of five square kilometers, we lifted 106 snares

as well as two rolls of railway telephone wire and a pair of pliers used for poaching activities. We found two buffaloes,
one water buck, two impalas, three zebras and three Kongonis all of which had been snared, and had already been dead for a couple of days.
This means that the poacher who had set the snares had set more snares than he could service thus leaving behind whatever he could not carry. We laid an ambush in the area which lasted for two days. Unfortunately the culprits did not return and we feel that the team’s presence had been detected. The sanctuaries management has promised to keep up their de-snaring operations within the sanctuary. Towards the end of our activities in the Taita hills area we were able to arrest a poacher, called John Mboli, in possession of 15 big snares and a snared buffalo.
The poacher came from the Maktau area and was booked at Taveta police station where it was found out that he is 40 years old and has already been arrested 6 times for poaching.

Lake Jipe area Our operations at Lake Jipe were inhibited due to heavy rains. We were unable to reach our target area as our vehicle got stuck in the mud. After found the remains of a giraffe that had been placed in a tree by a poacher,

we laid an ambush which yielded no results. We then moved our operations toe the Maktau area where we patrolled along the railway way line towards Taveta town and in and around Murka and Mbuyuni, where no snares were found and there was no evidence of poaching.

Kishushe and Oza Ranch This area is predominantly used by animals for grazing. The snares, that target the wildlife, which poachers have set in these areas, are also catching livestock. We received reports that eight animals had been snared. 17 big snares, all of which had been set for large game were lifted.

Due to the number of footprints from herdsmen it is very difficult for us to establish the number of poachers that frequent the area.

Tsavo River and Mzima springs pipeline Contrary to our expectations there were no poaching activities in the area. This was a change to the past months were a lot of poaching had been observed. We feel that this could be a result of our continuous de-snaring activities in the area. We found that the poachers were coming from as far away as Kambu, Mtito and Kitui and it is possible that our de-snaring efforts had discouraged them as we only found 4 big snares in the area.

Report by Wambua Kikwatha