Nov. & Dec. 2010: Anti-poaching Update
The months of November and December were very busy for the FCF teams in the field. A total of seven firearms were confiscated during this time period including:
two semi-automatic weapons from a village in the Uvinza Open Area;
four muzzle loaders from the Moyowosi and Ugalla Game Reserves; and,
one .458 used by a gang of elephant poachers operating in the Kizigo Game Reserve.
Other items that were confiscated during the months of November and December include:
41 hardwood timber planks;
1 bow and 30 poison arrows;
1211 head of livestock which were removed from the concessions; and,
12 elephant tusks.
A total of twenty-two arrests were made including thirteen meat poachers, five timber poachers and four illegal livestock herdsmen.
Elephant poaching continues at an alarming rate. In November, six carcasses and ten active camps were found in the northern Moyowosi Game Reserve by our microlight pilot on patrol. Shortly after those discoveries, six more carcasses were found in the middle of the Ugalla Game Reserve. FCF teams are following up and are hopeful they will receive positive feedback.
The dangers of anti-poaching were once again realized during December. An FCF ranger was struck in the forearm while fending off a blow from a machete directed at him by a poacher resisting arrest. The FCF ranger is to undergo surgery to repair nerve damage to his arm and will be off duty for several months. The entire FCF team wishes him a speedy recovery!