In mid September Raymond Teekishe and I were visiting the Serengeti ranger posts of Kenyanganga and Lamai to meet some new staff over there. Our camp is in an area that is rarely traveled by clients. Between the two ranger posts we started finding a lot of wire snares that had been placed in the acacia thickets to catch animals for meat by the local communities we are engaging on the northwestern side of the park. We immediately started pulling up snares and eventually came across a young wildebeest caught in a snare by one of its back legs. Fortunately the little wildebeest was still strong.
I was very wary of its sharp little horns and every time I moved towards it, it tried to charge me. I managed to position myself behind the tree it was tethered to and reeled it in carefully. I finally managed to grab its hind leg and release the snare. The wildebeest was not all that thankful and tried to charge me again. All through this Raymond (my brave Maasai warrior brother) was shouting encouragement (mainly to the wildebeest!) and managed to snap off a few images from the safety of the Land Rover bonnet. All of the snares we remove are given and reported to the closest ranger post. Pen has also pulled up a number of snares on different occasions and we will continue to do so in collaboration with the rangers. One of the benefits of our presence in the Lamai wedge is that it will deter poachers to be in the area if we are constantly driving around patrolling. Our mission with the communities is to try and show them that the park can add value to their communities and also to offer them choices other than poaching from the park.
Rob Barbour, AfrikaAfrika Managing Director