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News & Updates

Zimbabwe, Newsletter November - December 2010

Dear readers,

With what we finished last month, we start this month: The training in the Vumba, Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
On request of the ‘
Tikki Hywood Trust’ and in collaboration with Environment Africa we performed a 3 week anti poaching training course. Three weeks of hard work resulted in 8 newly trained scouts from the private sector and three scouts from National Parks. Next to those there were 2 other scouts; one from ALL4AP and one from a sister organization in Hwange. Initially their where 36 people interested but after the first tests we remained with 21 for the first week.
Subjects where applicable law (largest part) first aid, spoors and signs, arrest and ambush techniques and next to the drill the additional physical exercises.
Purpose of this initiative was to train the team and make it part of the whole area, working under supervision from National Parks and to create more competent labor for them to perform the needed patrols in the area.
After the first week 13 people where left that came to the finish. The results of the three weeks where obvious; in about two days of practical’s they managed to remove 220 wire snares already!
This is promising for the future of the team.
It was clear that the area had not seen much protection in the past. In the first week already we arrested 7 people for wood poaching and impounded a lorry with a loading capacity of 18 tons. In the end 3 of those people had to pay a fine and the impounded vehicle was returned after payment of USD310,- Are the fines for compensation of wildlife serious these days; the fines for wood poaching really have to be addressed; USD20,- for a log will not scare many people off.

The beginning of this month I used for moving out of Katshana, my house and to hand over the ALL4AP team to the Lion research project in Hwange. Because I will leave for Kenya to set up ALL4AP there and we already received a lot of funding through this project they were an obvious choice. The ALL4AP team will, if the authorities allow us, operate in Hwange National Park and work together with ‘Wilderness Safaris’.
They will start end of January.
On my last day in Hwange, I was asked by my French research neighbors to come and assist to catch some elephants to provide them with a collar to monitor their movements. This took place and on our search for the second elephant
we came across a young zebra stallion which had a snare around its leg. It was a nice ending of this year to be able to help this animal before leaving and to be able to practice my ‘darting skills’.

Now preparing for Kenya.
Martin & Team