Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 November 2009

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 November 2009

Share the article

Participants:

Nicodemus Kivindyo-Team Leader John mungai Adan Abdi Boru Okichi Joshua Muthoka 2 KWS Rangers

Areas covered

During the month of November the Ziwani Team patrolled the following area: Taita Wildlife Sanctuary, Lumo Community Sanctuary, Oza Ranch and Kishushe ranch.

Findings

During patrols a total of 85 snares were lifted, all of which targeted big game. The team found a total of 7 carcasses in all areas patrolled. Three of the carcasses were of elephants, of which 2 were in Taita Wildlife Sanctuary and one was at Lumo Ranch. The rest of the carcasses were of 3 Buffaloes and one hartebeest all found at Taita Wildlife Sanctuary.

All three elephants had been poached; the two at Taita had their tusks taken by the poachers while the elephant in Lumo had its tusks collected by KWS after they had been informed of the location of its carcass.

Observable Evidence

With the arrival of the rains there has been a general decline in the number of snares collected and poaching activity seen. This is because most poachers return to their land to cultivate crops. The numbers of carcasses seen have also reduced. This is mainly due to the return of the rains at the beginning of November which provides wildlife with much needed drinking water and vegetation. With that said, the drought has taken a huge toll on Kenya’s wildlife and it will take years for the wildlife numbers to recover from the loss experienced during the drought.

Taita wildlife Sanctuary/ Lumo community sanctuary

These areas are important animal migratory corridors as well as a home for many species of animals ranging from small to big game. The rains received in these areas have so far been sufficient so the wildlife has been beginning to recover from the terrible physical conditions some were in during the drought. Although poaching has gone down slightly, it is still taking place. During patrols 16 snares all targeting big game were lifted. Three poached elephants were found. One of the elephants had its tusks retrieved by KWS while the other 2 had their tusks taken by the poachers.

Oza ranch/ Kishushe Ranch

Both these areas lie bellow the southern side of Tsavo West National Park and are home to many wild animal species. Since the arrival of the long awaited rains wildlife has been drawn to these areas in search of food and water, hence it is important the Team maintains Patrols in these areas to prevent poaching. During Patrols the team lifted 69 snares all targeting big game.

Some of the snares were freshly set which indicated that poaching trends in these areas have not followed the same patterns seen in the other areas patrolled during the month. The Team will keep up patrol efforts in these areas to tackle this trend.

Community work

During the course of the month the Team arranged three Educational excursions for schools: Two trips for Maktau Secondary School on 11th/11/09 and 12th/11/09, and one for Paranga Primary School on the 14th/11/09.

Paranga Primary School had never visited the Park before since the school was started back in the 1980s. The school management praised the Trust for its generous gesture to the school by giving it its very 1st Educational excursion to the National Park as well as the donation of sports equipment for the students. Previously the school had no sports equipment at all; the children and teachers were very excited to receive the sports equipment donation. During the Maktau Secondary trip the students visited Tsavo East National Park and had an opportunity to interact with orphaned Elephants at Voi looked after by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

It was their first time to come close to an elephant which to them is perceived as a dangerous animal causing the highest conflict in the area. The students were initially very nervous but as they got a lecture from the Elephant Keepers and were shown the orphans this turned out to be the highlight of their trip.
Such interaction with the elephant orphans help greatly in changing the minds of the young Kenyans who would otherwise grow up to view wildlife as a nuisance. The students were also taken on game drives during which they saw elephants, Giraffes, elands, buffaloes among other mammals in the park. The students were later taken to the education centre to get some lectures about the formation of Tsavo, the management of Tsavo as well as challenges involved in the management of the Park.

Paranga Primary School was taken to Tsavo West National Park. Some of the sights visited included Mzima Springs, Shetani Lava, and Chaimu Hill. One of the children in the group had their Father participate in assisting with an elephant orphan rescue which was taken to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphanage so visiting the sight of the rescue was very exciting for the students.

Ngogondinyi Primary school received a donation of 30 desks from the trust on 23rd/ 11/09. The school staff as well as the parents thanked the trust for this noble gesture. The School was struggling terribly with spaces for students as it had been flooded with new students who had nowhere to sit during classes. These desks were desperately needed and gratefully received.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo. (Team Leader)