Written by Gabriel
The Wildlife Clubs of Kenya in partnership with the Bornfree Foundation have been involving the Wildlife Club members in desnaring campaigns. Through their passion and dedication the youths are passing an important message ‘ Let Us Set Our Wildlife Free’. Thanks to this initiative over 1,800 snares have been removed in hot spot areas like the Athi Kapiti plains, Konza, Ngong forest, around Nairobi National Park among others in the last one year.
A snare is trap commonly made of metal wire taken from abandoned tyres, telephone lines. The traps are set in areas that are a preferred passage for antelopes like the dik diks. Such include trails, water points, fence openings and around dung piles. Because of the illegal snare traps wildlife populations in these areas have been dwindling. This negatively affects the balance of nature and more so the tourism sector. The uninspected bush meat sold to the local market is as well not safe for human use.
During the desnaring program, the trained team walks deep in the hot spots, identifying and removing any snare. The team is always accompanied by a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) or Kenya Forest Service(KFS) armed rangers. The KWS/KFS personnel have legal mandate to make any arrests.
The team moves keenly along targeted areas, intercepting any kind of snare found and rescuing the animals.
In such areas carcasses of antelopes are notably found, signifying the extend of the problem. Some poachers escape on noticing the team’s presence. A number of poachers have been arrested.
Depending on how far and big the area is, desnaring campaigns can take several days. The team camps in these targeted spots to accomplish the task. At the end the team members are exhausted but happy for saving lives of hundreds of voiceless and innocent creatures.
Its evident that more snare hotspots exist in other parts of the country. This volunteer team has enormous task ahead. But even much so the team needs more material and financial support especially if more young people are to be incorporated in this noble program. Tents, sleeping bags, transport means, food and other basic up keep needs are the key essentials for the team. We welcome your kind support.