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Lewa Security Team on Anti-poaching Mission to the Mara

October 17, 2007

In the past two months some of the Lewa KPR Security team has been on two anti-poaching missions to the Masaai Mara following an invitation by the Mara Conservancy.

Mara Conservancy rangers have visited Lewa in the past and it was now Lewa’s turn to visit the Mara recently. This could have not been better timed as it coincided with the annual spectacular wildebeest migration. The Lewa team worked closely with the Warden in charge Mara Conservancy, Mr. Edward Nkoitoi and also the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) game rangers working in Serengeti National Park. This joint effort between the Mara Conservancy rangers, TANAPA rangers and Lewa rangers grouped at an outpost close to the Tanzania border to patrol the park boundary between the Masaai Mara and the Serengeti on two separate operations. As back up for these anti-poaching patrols there were four vehicles, one land cruiser from Lewa, two from the Mara and one Land Rover from TANAPA .

During the two 4 day exercises, they took part in de-snaring activities and lay ambushes on the poachers’ routes to and from snare sites at night. During the first operation, three poachers were arrested with poisoned arrows and illegally poached game meat (wildebeest) and also two live wildebeest were released from snares as well as recovery of 118 snares. During the second operation, another 3 poachers were arrested with illegal game meat and poisoned arrows and a further 119 snares recovered.

In the course of the whole operation 6 poachers were arrested and taken to Tanzania prisons, where sentences for “bush meat” poaching are far more stringent than in Kenya. Total number of snares recovered was 237.

We commend the efforts of the Lewa Security teams involved and thank the Mara Conservancy for their very warm hospitality. We anticipate that this will be a long relationship of exchange and collaboration between Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Mara Conservancy. Finally the team also managed to witness first hand the 8th wonder of the world, the spectacular migration!