Click a de-snaring trip report
The Born Free Foundation has been actively involved in the fight against the illegal bush meat trade mainly through raising awareness on the issue and through supporting de-snaring projects. Having supported de-snaring projects by Youth for conservation and the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust in the past, in 2008 Born Free partnered with the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya whose members include students in over 1000 institutions across Kenya. The project provides an opportune chance for these young enthusiastic students to be actively involved in conservation; to increase their knowledge and most importantly help conserve wildlife.
De-snaring is the removal of traps set by poachers to capture wild animals for bush meat. These traps, often simple wire snares shaped in the form of a noose, are strategically set by poachers in areas where wildlife thrives. Strategic snare locations include; the bushes and trees close to the banks of rivers and dams where animals water as well as along boundary fences and animal tracks. Animal species targeted by the poachers mainly include dik dik, zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest, eland and giraffe.
Since May 2007, Born Free Kenya has conducted monthly operations within the Machakos ranches a group of privately owned properties located approximately 35 km from Nairobi. Located south of the Nairobi National park, this area forms part of the dispersal area for the park. However, most wildlife dispersal corridors are now blocked by development leaving behind huge populations of wildlife in the area. Born Free staff together with a group of WCK volunteers and Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS) rangers conduct 2 three-day de-snaring exercises during which the groups, equipped with pliers, heavy-duty gloves and tape measures, are assigned to an area of the ranch to explore on foot looking for any signs of poaching activities. A data collection sheet is also provided for them to record relevant information. Before starting, each group has a 15-minute briefing session to learn about the bush meat trade and Born Free’s approach to tackling it.
The team looks out for “dead” and “live” snares. A live snare is one that is properly set properly set to trap an animal. When a live snare is found, the team measures the diameter of the noose, its height from the ground and thickness of wire used. This helps to ascertain the type of animal targeted. When a dead snare is found, it will already have killed an animal and the snare will be removed. The team also rescues any animals found trapped in the snares.