Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 October 2008

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 October 2008


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

Area of operation:

During the month of October, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Tsavo River, Mzima water pipeline, Kishushe ranch, Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Maktau and Ziwani.


FINDINGS During the months operations the team lifted a total of 124 snares most of which targeted large game with only 10 snares targeting small game. The team also came across the carcasses of two snared giraffe at the Mzima water pipeline and one impala at Maktau.

The carcass of an elephant was also discovered at the Taita Hills Sanctuary. Together with the Tsavo Mobile Veterinary unit the Ziwani team helped treat a snared elephant as well as rescue three orphaned calves.

Observable evidence: Most of the areas patrolled during the course of the month recorded an increase in the number of snares collected in some of the areas visited. This increase is due to the hard drought that has hit these areas over the past year. We find that during the dry seasons there is an increase in the number of snares collected as it is during these times that the communities neighboring the park engage in poaching.

Tsavo River and Mzima water pipeline The above two areas were patrolled at the beginning of the month for a period of eight consecutive days. This area has recently been classified as an intensive protected zone. This is due to the fact that some of the black rhinos from the Ngulia Sanctuary have been allowed to venture outside the sanctuary in search of browse. A through check of all the main riverbeds was conducted as these areas are usually very active in terms of snaring. We also checked all the breather points at the Mzima water Pipeline. We came across footprints from three individuals which were several days old. The footprints led us to the carcass of a slaughtered snared giraffe.

We also found the poachers hideout which was full of dried game meat. We lay an ambush for a period of two days but no one returned to the hideout which we then destroyed.
A total of 53 snares were lifted in the area most of which targeted large game. The Ziwani desnaring team also rescued a three month old baby elephant that had fallen into one of the water breathers along the Mzima water Pipeline.
The baby had not been injured and was in good health. It was airlifted to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery Unit in Nairobi.

Kishushe ranch During our patrols in this area we noticed that, in comparison to previous months, there has been a slight decrease in the number of snares collected. We lifted a total of 19 snares all of which targeted small game. The team also rescued a two week old baby elephant from the Wanjala mining site.

The baby calf was very weak when she was found an indication that she had not had any mothers’ milk in a while. The calf was airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery. Logging was also seen to be taking place on the ranch.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary Patrols in this areas yielded 14 large snares, showing that there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of snares being set, in comparison to the past two months. This decrease is due to the fact that we made several arrests in the area in the past few months. The Ziwani desnaring team assisted the vet in treating an elephant that had become entangled in a snare.

Maktau & Ziwani Poaching continues to be a problem at Maktau where we lifted a total of 37 snares all of which targeted large game.

The snares were all made of railway telecom wires. We also came across the carcass of an Impala.
The team laid an ambush for a period of two days but no arrests were made. The team rescued a two year old baby elephant at Ziwani. The orphan was taken to the Voi stockades where it unfortunately died.

Community Outreach In addition to the Team’s desnaring activities we donated 3 desks to Msorongo primary school. The school committee were extremely appreciative of the new desks which were desperately needed as following the government’s decision to make primary education free there has been an influx of students at the school.

Report by Henry Lekochere