Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 September 2004

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 September 2004

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ZIWANI TEAM SPONSORED BY WSPA

De-snaring report for September 2004

Participants

Patrick Mutuku – Team Leader Josphat Ajot Henry Lekochere Stephen Musyoka KWS rangers

Area Covered

The areas patrolled were Ziwani, Salaita, Jipe, Lumo and Kishushe wildlife sanctuary, Tsavo river/ Tsavo pipe line.

Findings

In total the teams collected 346 snares, 200 of which were designed for larger animals.

This month we found that the general Ziwani area had little evidence of poaching activities and so is a positive reflection of our efforts in the area. We tended to keep close to waterholes this month, as the area is extremely dry and wildlife normally stick to areas with water. The Maasai are now taking their cattle deep into the park to graze which is a problem as the cattle are now competing for food and water. Added to that there is now massive over grazing and wildlife is now being forced to move to the Tanzanian side to drink and eat what ever is left. Once on this side of the park there is very little that we can do, as there are a number of armed Tanzanian poachers who have moved into that area hunting for ivory and also for meat. Water levels in the area are now going down and lake Jipe is no exception. Sadly the problem with Lake Jipe is that the river which feeds into it seems to be being damned up by people who are using the water for irrigation. With the lake drying up we have had to pull a few animals out of the mud, as they move further into the lake in order to get water and this month we rescued a baby buffalo who had been stuck in the mud for a while, and re united it with its herd.

In Maktau the people now see wildlife as their only way of making a living and wildlife in the area is regarded as a cash crop. Poachers are moving into the villages and taking whatever they can from the park. Luckily we have the village elder on our side who has on one occasion accompanied the team on a night ambush. He has given us his word that he will do what he can to expose poachers in the village and inform us immediately if there are any strangers in the area.
We joined Amara on our last day in the area who were showing a wildlife film in the area. We managed to talk to the school children about wildlife and we had a very positive response. In Kishushe poaching has increased, we found three snared giraffes in the area and the majority of the meat had been taken for sale in the nearby market. We also managed to rescue a number of animals and unfortunately we missed capturing several poachers.

Next month we will visit the same areas again, but also this time Ziwani and Jipe will be where we will spend most of the time.

Report by Patrick Mutuku