Anti-Poaching Team Arrest Poachers

Changes abound with the beginning of the New Year here in the Mara!

Earlier this season, the Anne K. Taylor Fund expanded our role from partial to full support of the anti-snaring and anti-poaching patrol team. This new responsibility brings us great excitement, as we look forward to enjoying greater flexibility in our participation in patrols and rescues! Further, this new shift has been made possible through the kind contributions of our donors and supporters – and we would like to thank you all for your generosity.

The transition from the rainy season to the dry season often means an uptick in the frequency of poaching incidents – and unfortunately, this year has been no exception. However, the excellent work of our patrol team means that we, in conjunction with Mara Conservancy rangers, were able to successfully arrest seven poachers, remove snares, confiscate spears, bows, arrows and swords and intervene in at least two major poaching incidents.

Poachers arrested with hippo meat

Poachers arrested with hippo meat

Knowing that poachers often prefer to use known routes and to camp in familiar places, our team has focused heavily on re-visiting old poachers’ camps in an effort to discourage their reuse. And because poachers approaching the park often pass through local communities, our work concentrated on the information we gained from members of the community.

In early April, we flushed a group of 12 poachers (and their dogs) from a forest near the escarpment. The poachers were armed with bows and arrows, indicating that they intended to target bushbuck, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, and other bushmeat animals. Unfortunately, an unseen look-out alerted the poachers of our team’s approach; the group fled into the forest, and despite an on-foot pursuit which continued until nightfall, their trail was lost.

On April 26th, our team and Mara Conservancy Rangers went for a joint patrol, accompanied by the CEO of Mara Conservancy (Brian Heath). During the patrol, the team decided to check on a known poaching hotspot in the park, from which they flushed out and arrested two poachers. The combined investigative efforts of our team and the Mara Conservancy led us to arrest three additional poachers and identify one more, who unfortunately fled into the forest and eluded capture. However, this arrest led to the discovery of a new poachers’ camp, from which we recovered the harvested meat of a hippo and a warthog. These kinds of dismal discoveries encourage us to work harder than ever to stop poaching across the Mara.

Anne and the Team

Anne and the Team after a planning meeting

Anne K. Taylor Fund, 2724 Arvin Road, Billings, Montana 59102
Phone: (406) 294-9430 / Fax: (406) 294-9431
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