ARABUKO SOKOKE FOREST SURVEY REPORT

A Rocha Kenya has been doing surveys in the forest to monitor and map all illegal activities taking place so as to generate comprehensive data that will be able to show the actual status of the forest at any time so that managers of the forest are aware of what is happening, and would equip them to make informed decisions regarding the management of the said forest.

Our very recent survey was led by David Ngala (the forest man) who guided the crew; a (KWS researcher), two KWS rangers and one of our own, through the Mida gate to the Nature Reserve section of the forest. They were dropped by KWS car four kilometers away from the entry and saw quite a number of clear footpaths which most of them died off few meters form the main car path. The team walked west until they found the Whistling Duck pools and took to the north. They maneuvered through huge leafless Brachystegia trees, acacias scrub coming across giant baobab surrounded by what used to be water drinking points for elephants; about five marshes, all together with grass dried away. They walked following more clear foot path for two hours north of the pools finding only two old in-active duikers snares and eventually came to a more clear water-way kind of a path which they followed back to the main car path coming across a two weeks old Salvadora persica stump.

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On our way back, the driver stopped the car abruptly and engaged the reverse gear. A young man was crossing the road holding a paper bag which the driver suspected something fishy with the content of the paper bag. Before the rangers could jump down, the young man had already opened his heels and was on fire running like Usain Bolt! The rangers had rough time chasing after him through thick and thin and temporarily disappeared in thorny bushes. He dropped the paper bag and crawled to hide. It was almost thirty minutes later when he was finally found and brought to the car. The paper bag was found containing a roasted monkey. He was taken to the KWS office and handed over to the concerned authorities.

 

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