Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 May 2010

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 May 2010

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Participants:

Nicodemus Kivindyo-Team Leader John mungai Adan Abdi Boru Okichi Joshua Muthoka

2 KWS Rangers

Areas covered

During the month of May the Ziwani team conducted its de-snaring activities at the following areas: Oza ranch/Kishushe ranch and Taita wildlife sanctuary. Findings

The team lifted a total of sixteen (16) snares all made of heavy duty cable targeting big game.

Five elephant carcasses were found at Oza Ranch, all poaching victims killed by snares. The team joined forces with Kenya Wildlife Service officers in effort to catch the poachers responsible for the elephant poaching. Two poachers were arrested, one admitted to killing two elephants using snares. He then burned one carcass and buried the other in order to hide the evidence. The second poacher was arrested at Taita wildlife sanctuary with 12kg of bush meat from an impala; he had in his possession twelve snares which he was transferring to another area after the frequency of trapping wildlife decreased in the area he was previously operating.

A large amount of glass waste was found dumped at Oza ranch.

Observable Evidence

The number of snares lifted this month has reduced compared to the previous months but this finding does not indicate that poaching has reduced. According to the teams findings, poachers are just changing their targeted animals from small/medium sized game to quite large mammals like elephants where they harvest the flesh as well as the tusks hence getting the benefits of both selling illegal meat & other products (tusks) from one animal with the same method of poaching (snaring). The arrest of the two poachers also shows that poaching is on going. This month has seen drastic amounts of elephant poaching for both the flesh and the tusks.

Oza Ranch

During patrols the team lifted two snares and found five elephant carcasses, four adults and one sub adult all having been killed by snares. The flesh was missing from four elephants and tusks missing from all the carcasses. From five elephants this is ten tusks. Two of the five carcasses were burned, and one had been partially buried.

One of the elephant poachers involved was arrested following a tip-off by an informer. The poacher admitted to killing two mature elephants through snaring and removed tusks as well as the flesh. He burned one carcass and buried the other.
He and other elephant poachers originate from a near by village called Mukamwasi which is close to Oza ranch. The poacher also revealed that they are targeting the limbs of the elephant, when the elephant is trapped it breaks its leg in the struggle and is them left to die a slow painful death.
Glass dumping was seen at Oza ranch in large amounts. It is suspected the glass comes from nearby factories or businesses that need to dump their waste as they cannot dump at their towns since glass is not biodegradable and has a negative impact on the environment. This being a place with wild animals, glass is dangerous as it can injure or possibly kill wildlife.
Taita wildlife sanctuary

This area is rich in biodiversity as it is home for many species of plants and animals. Most of the flora & fauna seems to have recovered from the previous drought which caused massive amounts of destruction & death. It will take several years for wildlife populations to recover. The team lifted fourteen (14) snares all targeting big game and arrested a poacher with 12 kg of bush meat (from a male Impala) and twelve snares.

The poacher was transferring his snares to another location as the frequency of trapping animals was a little lower than he anticipated.
The team arrested this man last year and booked him at Taveta police station but this time he was booked at Wundanyi police station.

Community work

The team organised two ecological trips to Tsavo east National park. The Maktau primary school benefited from 2 two trips, one on 6th/5/2010 and another on the 7th/5/2010. The students saw a lot of wildlife such as herds of elephants, a group of lions, herds of buffaloes, elands, giraffes among others.

They were later taken to the DSWT Voi Stockades were they met the elephant orphans raised by the Trust. The elephant Keepers gave lectures on why these animals are orphans and their role in society in order to minimise the number of orphaned animals as a result of human activities.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo(Team Leader)