Poaching Incidents 2015

 

Incident 1

Date and time of incident 29th January 2015 at 0830hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephants) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 3fm 0478689 UTM 9601867

Details of incident An elephant carcass was reported by the air survey team within Rukinga Ranch. 1 bull of 30-

35 years was found. Cause of death was poisoned arrow. Tusks were missing, carcass was 1-

2 months old, and was found 2.5 kilometers from the community site next to Mombasa -

Nairobi highway. No tracks were found, since the elephant carcass was not fresh. Very likely

that this incident was linked to that of 03/02/2015, due to similarity in cause of death and

location.

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still believed to be at large. KWS and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 2

Date and time of incident 1st February 2015 at 0800hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Mgeno Ranch, GPS: 3fm 0441529 UTM 9599772

Details of incident While on patrol on Mgeno Ranch at Panda ll dam 3.0 Ranger team from Wildlife Works came

across a male elephant of 35-40 years stuck in the mud at the dam. Efforts from the team to

try and rescue the elephant were futile as still the animal was still alive. The team reported

it to Head of Wildlife Works security team, and kept an eye on it at the site until late in the

evening when it managed to move out of the mud by itself. The elephant moved to a nearby

bush, but the elephant looked weak. The following morning while accompanied by KWS

Rangers, the WW team proceeded to the scene when they found out that the elephant had

died. Tusks were still intact and were retrieved. The elephant was examined and one fresh

arrow wound was seen at the right hand leg.

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

KWS and WW are involved in further investigations, with good leads.

Incident 3

Date and time of incident 2nd February 2015 at 0900hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Wangalla Ranch

Details of incident An elephant carcass was reported by the air survey team within Wangalla Ranch. 1 bull of 35-

40 years was found. Cause of death was poisoned arrow. Tusks were missing, carcass was 1-

2 months old, and was found 2.5 kilometers from the community site next to Mombasa -

Nairobi highway. No tracks were found, since the elephant carcass was not fresh. Very likely

that this incident was linked to that of 29/01/2015, due to similarity in cause of death and

location.

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still believed to be at large. KWS and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 4

Date and time of incident 9th February 2015 at 21:00hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Choke Ranch, GPS: 3fm 04 30398 UTM 9593611, one poaching

suspect killed.

Details of incident A team of KWS based at Choke Ranch reported to Head Ranger of Wildlife Works that they

had a contact with bandits within Choke Ranch. GPS coordinates of the area were given. The

following morning, the team headed there and confirmed the incident. One poacher had

been shot and killed, next to an elephant carcass.The elephant was Male, 35-40 years, killed

by gun shot wound. The following were recovered:

1. 1 AK47

2. 1 Magazine with five rounds of ammunition

3. An axe

4. Machete (panga)

5. 2 Elephant tusks

Crime scene team from Kenya Police, removed the suspected poacher's body for further

investigation and postmortem. Other two suspected poachers still at large.

Causes of incident. Gunshot wounds

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

KWS, Kenya Police and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 5

Date and time of incident 5th March 2015 at 1000hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch, GPS: 3fm 0485997 UTM 9581454

Details of incident Around 1000hrs on Taita ranch a team from Wildlife Works while on normal patrol near

Kivuko came across an injured elephant of 20-25 years, lying flat on the ground. They found

a deep wound on the left hind leg also three holes on the left ear. The matter was reported

to Wildlife Works' Head of Security. KWS was informed and eventually arrived at the scene.

The elephant's health was weak thus was unable to stand by itself. A few hours later, it died.

The ivory was retrieved and both parties KWS and Wildlife Works agreed to contact the vet

for further examination. A postmortem was conducted by KWS vet and the following was

discovered.

1. Three wounds found on the left ear were found to be shallow- vet concluded that it was

pierced.

2. The carcass was turned round and the wound on the hind leg was confirmed to be septic.

An arrow head was removed from the wound. The vet concluded that the elephant died

from the poisoned arrow wound.

KWS and Wildlife Works Rangers backtracked the elephant's movements and at Simon's

forest blood stains mixed with pus were found at several points. It was not clear where the

elephant received those injuries since the tracks headed outside the project area. It was

concluded that it was hit with an arrow at a community farm with poachers taking

advantage.

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still at large. KWS and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 6

Date and time of incident 12th March 2015 at 0700hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Mgeno Ranch, GPS: 3fm 0445583 UTM 9602089

Details of incident Wildlife Works Head of Security received information from one of Mgeno Ranch directors,

that while on the way to one of the cattle shelters, he had seen a fresh elephant carcass. On

receiving this information, WW team immediately headed to the site.

One very fresh elephant was found with tusks removed. KWS were immediately informed.

The scene was cleared and it was realized that five poachers were involved.

KWS and Wildlife Works' Rangers tracked the poachers and at about 1330hrs, the tracks led

us to one of the poacher's homestead. On arriving, the poachers saw the tracking team from

a distance and escaped before they could be arrested. Where they were seated, the following

was found:

1. 3 poisoned arrows

2. 4 bows

3. 1 weighing scale

4. Hunting torch

5. Knife

6. Jerry cans

7. Saucepans

8. Beddings

9. 3 sacks

10. Hacksaw

11. 2 elephant tusks weighing 16kg

All Items recovered from the poachers were handed to KWS Intelligence team for further

investigation. One of the poacher's wife was interrogated and indeed gave all names of the

poachers that was involved in that incident and possible hiding route.

Two days later at around 1700hrs and 0100hrs, poachers were arrested at Kasigau and Taru

respectively. Later on the poachers confirmed their involvement and recorded statements.

They were arraigned in Voi Law Courts. They were charged with five counts and all pled not

guilty. They were set a cash bond of one million KSh (1,000,000) plus one surety each. The

hearing will be on 14/04/15.

· Whether incident was work or

non-work related.

Security incident (work)

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Awaiting trials. KWS and WW are involved in follow up.

Incident 7

Date and time of incident 1st April 2015 at 1800hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 3fm 0472265 UTM 9588087

Details of incident An elephant carcass was reported by the aerial surveillance patrol on Rukinga Ranch. 1 bull

of 20-25 years was found in the Juliana forest near to Lokidori, with both tusks missing.

Carcass was estimated to be 4 days old. Tracks of 4 people were found leading to Kulakila-

KWS are still following up.

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still believed to be at large. KWS and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 8

Date and time of incident 6th April 2015 at 1000hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch/LMD boundary, GPS: 3fm 0485767 UTM 9588953

Details of incident The carcass of male elephant of 35-40 years was found by the WW 2.0 team on the boundary

of Taita Ranch and LMD. Both tusks were still intact. Carcass was estimated to be 2 weeks

old. No tracks were found. KWS are still following up.

Causes of incident. Poisoned arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still believed to be at large. KWS and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 9

Date and time of incident 7th May 2015 at 2000hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Kambanga Ranch

Details of incident On 08/05/2015 at around 0600hrs, we received information from KWS platoon Commander

in charge of Ranches that the previous evening at around 2000hrs gunshots were heard near

one of the Somali cattle bomas on Kambanga Ranch. The WW teams were immediately

mobilised, and they were joined by KWS ground teams in tracking down the poachers. At

around 1145hrs there was a contact with the poachers who were hiding on Taru Ranch.

There was an exchange of fire between the poachers and KWS but no-one was injured. The

poachers were able to escape, but abandoned the 2 pieces of ivory (from the 35-40 year-old

male elephant they had killed) together with some personal belongings.

Causes of incident. Gunshot

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

KWS, WW and Police are involved in further investigations, using the crucial items dropped

at the scene of the firefight, including mobile phones, to help identify the culprits.

Incident 10

Date and time of incident 15th May 2015 at 1030hrs (carcass ~one month old)

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0474623 UTM 9581120

Details of incident On 15th May, at around 1030am, the 5-1 team found the carcass of a 25-30 year-old female

elephant whilst on normal patrol at Pendora forest within Rukinga Ranch. The tusks were

still intact, and the carcass was about one month old. The scene was investigated by WW

rangersbut no importnat information was discovered. The bones were exposed and the skin

rotten, no cracks were found in the bones and there were no fresh activities at the scene.

Cause of death was therefore difficult to ascertain. The tusks were removed and handed

over to KWS HQ Voi for safe custody.

Causes of incident. Cause of death unknown

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

WW are involved in further investigations, and 6.0 team monitoring the area for any activity

Incident 11

Date and time of incident 31st May 2015 at 1200hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch

Details of incident

On 31st May at around 2100hrs, information was received from a herder that whilst he was

herding his livestock near tank 8 forest at around midday he heard several gunshots. He

delayed in giving KWS the information in good time, as it was raining heavily and he decided

to continue with his livestock. The following day on the 1st June, at around 1030hrs, WW

received this information from the Platoon Commander in Charge of Ranches. One WW team

was sent straight away to the scene where the carcass was found. No tracks were a seen due

to the rainfall, therefore the number of poachers is not known. KWS and WW are linking this

incident to that of the 7th May 2015, with the view that it is the same poaching team.

Causes of incident. Gunshot wounds

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

KWS, Kenya Police and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 12

Date and time of incident 18th June 2015 at 0630hrs

Number of elephants and location One individual (elephant) on Dawida Ranch, GPS: 3fm 0485275 UTM 9561897

Details of incident At around 0652hrs while preparing to go on patrol, the Head of Security received a phone

call from Amaka Ranch reporting that gunshots had been heard in the neighbouring ranch,

Dawida. Teams from KWS and WW were immediately informed and air and ground teams

were deployed. Ground teams arrived at the area and the air recce team located the fresh

carcass on Dawida Ranch. When the ground teams arrived at the scene they found an

elephant bull of 30-35 years shot with both tusks missing. It had only been dead for a few

hours. Three sets of human footprints were found and several AK47 cartidges were also

found. Teams from KWS and WW tracked the poachers but were not able to apprehend the

suspects due to their tracks being washed away by rain.

Causes of incident. Gunshot

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers still at large. KWS and WW involved in further investigations

Incident 13

Date and time of incident 9th July 2015 at 1830hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch, GPS: 37m 0492311 UTM 9561897

Details of incident Gun shots were reported at 1830hrs by 2 herdsmen on Taita Ranch. Teams from WW and

KWS responded but nothing was found. Ambushes were laid in different places but these

were fruitless. The following morning at around 0640hrs, an elephant carcass was located

on Taita Ranch in the forst at tank 8. The elephant was male aged 20-25 yrs, and had likely

been killed the day before. Three sets of footprints were found at the carcass and were

followed, exiting towards the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. At the scene of the carcass,

cartridges from an AK47 rifle were found and the tusks were cut at the edge, leaving the

other piece inside. It's been concluded that it's a notable gang of three somalis involved in

the killings.

Causes of incident. Gunshot

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still at large. KWS, WW and Kenya Police are still investigating

Incident 14

Date and time of incident 17th July 2015 at 0840hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Kasigau Ranch, GPS: 37m 0456545 UTM 9572120

Details of incident An elephant carcass (sex unknown) of 25-30 years old was discovered by a KWS aerial team.

They contacted the WW teams to give the information, but tusks were gone and cause of

death was unknown. The carcass was more than one month old, most likely up to 3 months

old.

Causes of incident. Cause unknown

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Cold case due to time lapsed in incident

Incident 15

Date and time of incident 1st August 2015 at 0613hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0476780 UTM 9598830

Details of incident While on patrol within Rukinga Ranch, the 5-1 team smelled an elephant carcass near one of

the water points (Chui Dam). They followed the smell and found a huge elephant carcass a

few hundred metres away. It was examined properly and the following was found:

1. Two old gunshot wounds on the front left leg.

2. Tusks were still intact.

3. Body fluids were come out mixed with blood.

4. Presence of 3 lions and several hyenas/vultures

5. Hide intact

It was concluded that the elephant died from gunshot injuries, likely after escaping with

injuries from when poachers shot elephants on Taita Ranch on 21st July 2015. It is linked

with three notorius poachers operating within the Taita Taveta ranches. who have not been

apprehended.

Causes of incident. Cause of death gunshot wounds

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

KWS, WW and Kenya Police are involved in following any hint to bring three culprits to book,

Incident 16

Date and time of incident 12th August 2015 at 0916hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch, GPS: 37m 048665 UTM 9574582

Details of incident Aerial team spotted the carcass on their normal patrol and reported to the ground teams.

The carcass wa reported to be located at Sagana forest, on the south west side of Taita

Ranch. Three WW teams and a KWS team proceeded to the site and discovered a male

elephant of 35-40 years old with one tusk removed and the other intact (the one on the

ground side was the one intact, the right one). The cause of death could not be ascertained,

but it was suspected to be poisoned arrow. The carcass was fresh, likely to have died within

the previous 24 hours. Fresh footprints of 3 individuals were doscovered at the scene. It was

deduced that the previous evening, the poachers had removed the first tusk and left the

scene with it to a cattle boma on Amaka Ranch (south westerly direction). They then

returned that morning to remove the second tusk, whereby it appears they heard the aerial

patrol. The footprint tracks show they immediately went straight back to the boma (running

tracks). When WW and KWS teams had followed the tracks to the boma, there was nobody

still present- the poachers had dispanded and mixed with cattle herders. At this point, the

teams retreated to the carcass site and the Voi Sub-county security team arrived at the

carcass. They familiarised themselves with the case and it was agreed to set up ambushes

for that night. Around 8pm, 5 suspects of Somali origin were arrested and they were booked

at Voi police station for more interrogation. The following day, the owner of the livestock

cam to see his herders and the police, and he was also arrested. They still remain in police

custody, pending invstigations.

Causes of incident. No visible injury, cause of death unknown

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

KWS, Police and WW are involved in further investigations.

Incident 17

Date and time of incident 28-29th August 2015 at 1830hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 elephant carcass (female) located on Amaka ranch, GPS: 37m 0482654 UTM 9567123

Details of incident On 28/08/2015 at 18.30hrs herders operating on Amaka ranch reported to kws that they

had heard gunshots. Kws responded and went to the scene but were unable to verify the

information due to darkness. The following morning (29/8/15)at 05.00hrs WW rangers and

KWS responded jointly, together with the WW air recce team. Footprint tracks of 3 people

were located on the ground in addition to 4 empty bullet cases. At 06.50hrs the air recce

team located a carcass 2.8km from where the casings were found. WW and KWS went to the

scene of the carcass and located a female elephant, however the carcass was 3 days old.

Both tusks had been removed. No tracks were found leading away from the carcass. All

ranger teams returned to the scene where the bullet cases were found and began tracking

the footprints from there. other teams created ambushes in the general direction the tracks

were indicated to be leading. Tracks were eventually lost while still on Amaka ranch as they

had been heavily covered by livestock tracks. Furthermore rain showered also hampered the

tracking process.

Causes of incident. Gunshot wounds

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

WW, KWS and Police are involved in ongoing investigations

Incident 18

Date and time of incident 31st August 2015

Number of elephants and location 1 elephant carcass (male) located on Maungu ranch, GPS: 37m 0444282 UTM 9580691

Details of incident On 31/08/2015 WW and KWS rangers were on joint routine patrol on Maungu Ranch.

Herders operating on the ranch informed the teams that the prvious night 4 armed somalis

had raided their cattle boma/camp. They took 12kg of maize flour, 20kg of sugar and

several packets of tea leaves. One armed team of KWS rangers picked up the tracks of 4

human footprints. On following the tracks a 1 day old elephant carcass was discovered

(male 40-45 years old). Gunshot wounds were evident and tusks had been removed. 10 pcs

of empty 7.62 cartridges were found at the scene. WW rangers joined the KWS team and the

tracks are still being persued to date (2/09/15). Kenya police visited the scene and

investigations are ongoing

Causes of incident. Gunshot wounds

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

WW, KWS and Police are involved in ongoing investigations

Incident 19

Date and time of incident 22nd September 2015 at 0800hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch, GPS: 37m 0480142 UTM 9578714

Details of incident At around 0800hrs, Somaliherders while in transit with their livestock came across an

elephant carcass at Matopeni dam foret in Taita Ranch with its tusks still intact. It was a

male of 35-40 years old. Two of the herders were left at the carcass site the came down to

Maungu, where they reported the incident. The Head of Security contacted the KWS team

from Dacoda who responded quickly and at around 2300hrs arrived at the scene and pulled

the tusks out. They were finally handed over to KWS for safe custody. No tracks were found

as the carcass was old (less than a month).

Causes of incident. Cause of death unknown

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

No leads on cause. KWS and WW are conducting regular patrols for any possible leads.

Incident 20

Date and time of incident 17th December 2015 at 09:00hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 elephant carcass (male) located on Maungu ranch, GPS: 37m 0450671 UTM 9599965

Details of incident The elephant carcass was reported by the Air Recce Team. Two Wildlife Works ground teams

responded (3.0 and 8.0), where they found a 3-4 week old carcass of a male elephant. The

tusks had already been removed and cause of death was not known. There were no signs of

any tracks due to rainfall/time elapsed since the incident.

Causes of incident. Unknown cause

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Poachers are still at large. KWS and WW are still investigating

Incident 21

Date and time of incident 24th December 2015 at 08:00hrs

Number of elephants and location 1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0475340 UTM 9599503

Details of incident The Wildlife Works Rangers (5.5 team) were on a regular foot patrol when they came across

tracks within the 5.5 forest on Rukinga. They followed the tracks and 3 suspected poachers

were seen on foot at the Marungu Forest. The suspected poachers saw the WW team and got

away. The WW team gave KWS investigation team the information that the suspected

poachers were on their way to Bondeni. Whilst fleeing, the suspected poachers dropped a

sack containing maize, a saucepan, plates and arrows (unpoisoned). Retracing the tracks, the

rangers smelt a carcass and nearby discovered the carcass of a 35-40 year old male

elephant.The bull had only had one tusk, which had already been removed. The KWS team

arrested one of the 3 suspects in Bondeni. No ivory has yet been recovered.

Causes of incident. Poisoned Arrow

Status of investigation and listing

of parties involved in investigation

Two of the three suspected poachers are still at large. The one suspect who was arrested is

still in custody awaiting hearing on the 28th January. Cash bail is set at 70,000KSh, which he

cannot currently make. KWS, WW and Kenya Police are still investigating other 2 involved.

Poaching Incidents 2016

 

Incident 1

24th January 2016 at 16:00hrs

Elephant Poaching by poisoned arrow

1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0479312 UTM 9585831

While enroute back to their camp after a routine patrol at around 16:00hrs, Wildlife Works Rangers 5-1 team smelled a carcass from the nearby bush. Their efforts to find out where the smell was coming from led them to one male elephant carcass of about 35-40 years, which had been killed by poisoned arrow The tusks were intact. The matter was reported to KWS authority and an investigation followed. The next morning the teams were arranged in various spots to identify the tracks, whcih were picked up and an exit route was found heading towards Mwagede. Both entrance and exit routes were confirmed at this point. KWS and WW rangers retrieved the tusks for safe custody with KWS.

Security incident (work)

Poisoned arrow

KWS and WW are still investigating

KWS and WW are involved in further investigations, with encouraging leads from reliable informers. 

·  ACF view of incident – degree of severity, possible uncertainties or disputed facts to be investigated.

·   Status of investigation.

·   Reports received (and outstanding, if any).

·   Immediate actions taken by ACF and other parties.

·   Further actions to prevent re-occurrence of incident.

·   Monitoring/reporting arrangements to follow up on efficacy of actions taken.

·   Results to date of actions taken.

·   Status: Open or Closed 

·   Next steps: whether to close the case, or proceed investigations, how to do so, and the rationale for it. 

Incident 2

25th January 2016 at 06:30hrs

Elephant Poaching by poisoned arrow

1 individual (elephant) on Taita Ranch, GPS: 37m 0482000 UTM 9582628

5Y CBU team on their air survey revisited the site where one elephant carcass was located the previous day and extensively patrolled the area. They located another carcass, this time on Taita Ranch. The KWS and WW teams were already on the ground following tracks from the previous day when they received this information. One team proceeded to the carcass whilst to others continued on the tracks. The carcass of the female elephant of ~25 years was estimated to be about one month old. The tusks had been removed but it seemed by opportunist herdsman or maybe by the poachers themselves at a later time. No tracks were found.

Security incident (work)

Poisoned arrow

KWS and WW are still investigating

KWS and WW are involved in further investigations, with encouraging leads from reliable informers. 

·  ACF view of incident – degree of severity, possible uncertainties or disputed facts to be investigated.

·   Status of investigation.

·   Reports received (and outstanding, if any).

·   Immediate actions taken by ACF and other parties.

·   Further actions to prevent re-occurrence of incident.

·   Monitoring/reporting arrangements to follow up on efficacy of actions taken.

·   Results to date of actions taken.

·   Status: Open or Closed 

·   Next steps: whether to close the case, or proceed investigations, how to do so, and the rationale for it. 

Incident 3

25th January 2016 at ~16:00hrs

Elephant Poaching by poisoned arrow

1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0480771 UTM 9580880 

WW rangers returning from investigating a carcass earlier that day, were rejoining the tracking teams investigting the 24th Jan incident. They came across another carcass, this one male of ~40 years. It was deemed to have been killed about a week before, by poisoned arrow and its tusks were missing. The was linked with the two previous poaching incidents, so the teams resolved to continue tracking to ascertain their origin points. After a long day tracking, the tracks lead to Magwede village near Buguta.

Security incident (work)

Poisoned arrow

KWS and WW are still investigating

KWS and WW are involved in further investigations, with encouraging leads from reliable informers. 

Incident 4

5th February 2016 at ~08:30hrs

Elephant Poaching

1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0477020 UTM 9591452

The ground teams were on normal patrol, when they received information from the air survey team of a carcass on Rukinga. The KWS team were contacted and they arrived at the scene with the WW Head of Security and the WW team, where a carcass of a male of 25-30 years was found. The tusks (weighing 15.25kg total) were intact with the skull. The bones were scattered and there was no hide- death was estimated to have happened over a month previously. The cause of death was unknown.

Security incident (work)

Unknown

KWS and WW have linked the above indident to the December incident when poachers armed with poisoned arrows shot two elephants in 5.5 forest. 

KWS and WW are involved in further investigations, with one arrest of a poacher linked to a series of elephant deaths within Rukinga. He is awaiting conviction in court. 

Incident 5

20th February 2016 at ~11:00hrs

Elephant death (possibly by poaching)

1 individual (elephant) on Rukinga Ranch, GPS: 37m 0477506 UTM 9594974

At 10:00hrs, Wildlife Works Rangers from 5-3 were on their normal patrol when they located the carcass of a female elephant of 25-30 years, that had been dead for ~3 weeks. The Head of Security was contacted, who called KWS and they travelled to the scene. The elephant still had its tusks intact. Due to marks on the ground it was obvious that the elephant had struggled for some time at the scene before it died. The cause of death was unclear due to the heavy presence of scavengers feeding on the carcass, but this ruled out the possibility of poisoned arrow. The front right leg appeared to have had an injury as it was swollen. No human prints were found or any obvious sign of poaching but cause of leg injury unknown.

Security incident (work)

Cause unknown

KWS and WW are still investigating

KWS and WW are involved in further investigations as this may be linked to other cases. There are three suspects awaiting arrest.

POACHING INCIDENCES

Excerpt from Jun 2016 - Jun 2017 annual report. Read it in full here.

The constant aerial surveillance of elephants within the Kasigau Corridor project area combined with the quick response of ground teams to monitor elephant locations has had a positive outcome for elephant protection and been a deterrent against illegal activities. Poaching within the project area over last year saw a low compared to previous years (see Chart 1) which is connected to the continuous operations for locating other illegal activities such as logging, charcoal production, cattle grazing and bush meat poaching.

Armed poaching was an issue throughout the entire ecosystem this year. Several KWS officers lost their lives through contact within the national park. Several cases of armed gangs entering the project area caused concern especially from August 2016 through to March 2017. After shots were fired the gangs would retreat almost immediately from the project as response from Wildlife Works rangers, KWS and conservation partners were immediate. The cooperation between organizations throughout the project area ensured that gangs would not hang around an area for a lengthy period of time.

The majority of the elephant deaths were during the height of the drought for the 2nd half of 2016. The largest killer of elephants and other wildlife this grant period was death from drought-related health complications combined with an increase in human wildlife conflict in community areas.

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