A year ago we successfully began our Anti-poaching operations in Kipini, part of the Lower Tana Delta in Kenya. I remember sitting down with my rangers and telling them I could possibly only keep them for a year, but even if that is all we are able to manage, we will have saved a few lives and it will be worth it. They had a somewhat confused look on their face and said, “Ok madam.” Getting into our second year of operations, I now understand why they seemed so bewildered. They had a faith and confidence in me that I didn’t fully have in myself. I knew I could manage the team, and structure our operations well enough to combat the poaching here. I was confident about all the relationships I had quickly fostered with local administration and partners in conservation, and we hit the ground running. What I was unsure about, was our funding. We have been reliant on a goodwill donor who gave us an initial boost that allowed us to begin operations, but otherwise have been largely dependent o
July was an eventful month as we discovered six illegal logging sites, disabled and recovered yet more snares, and came upon a zebra mare from our resident herd with an arrow sticking out of his neck! We frantically tried to reach the Kenya Wildlife Service veterinary officer who was in Tsavo treating an elephant, and continued to monitor the zebra well into the night. Thankfully, the next morning, he had managed to get the arrow out, we suspect by rubbing against a tree or something. The wound had no indication of the arrow head being embedded still, and the herd had calmed down considerably. The teams successfully apprehended a suspect who had in his possession illegal palm wine, two snares, and cooking items. He also had what appeared to be a considerably large unidentifiable species of sea fish. He was booked at the station and was sentenced to community service.