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A farewell to an elephant

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APU Field Report- February 2020

February was an eventful month for the team. We conducted daily foot patrols successfully together with the Kenya Wildlife Service; and had the following results: 3 cases of illegal fishing: 1 net and 2 fishing spears were confiscated and suspects given warning. 3 cases of illegal palm wine harvesting: 2 knives and machetes were confiscated and suspects warned 2 cases of charcoal burning and transporting: 3 bags of charcoal, 1 spade and 2 shovels confiscated 1 case of deforestation: 10 posts recovered 1 case of bushmeat poaching: 2 snares and 1 bicycle recovered. A total of 6 warnings were given to suspects, while 2 suspects escaped arrest by our teams, who remain to follow up those incidents closely. Destruction caused by illegal palm wine harvesting  Doum palms have their leaves cut off to tap palm wine, they often die as a result Charcoal bag confiscated

LOST BATTLES.

It has been a while since I last posted anything meaningful. The last year or so has brought much pain and tribulation to my already tumultuous life.   For many months now, this has been my profile photo on WhatsApp, and so many have asked me about it. Today, I am ready to tell this story. The image is of a three year old male leopard. A beautiful boy, in his prime. It took us two days to track him down just following his growls after reports came in from the community about a marauding “lion” that seemed to be caught in a snare trap. I suppose no one dared get close enough to see the rosettes on his fur gleaming in the sunshine. What a sight he was. We felt so privileged to be in his company. The bush was very dense, and we could only view him from about 80m away as we weren’t sure he wouldn't break free and pounce.   My phone camera has a pretty decent zoom, and I managed to get a decent enough photograph to send off to the KWS wildlife vet, in order for him to mobilise a plane.

Field Report: May-June 2020 "Building Camp & Chasing Night Poachers"

  June was a month of rebuilding after returning to the field. The pandemic forced all members of the team to remain at home, observing government protocols to stay safe. When we finally returned to camp, we found it in a dilapidated condition, and decided to rebuild what we could. With support from partners and friends, we were able to purchase new mattresses and mosquito nets for the whole team, and also metal sheeting which was used to rebuild the long-drop and shower cubicles. We also worked on the gutter to harvest rainwater for emergencies into our camp 5000-litre tank.    Previously the long drop and shower facilities were covered in palm fronds, however due to heavy rains during the floods in the previous month, the structure began to fall apart. This is what the facilities look like now, with metal sheeting along the sides and the top to protect from the elements! We have placed the facilities away from the living quarters in a cleared area to also ensure everyone using the fa