Monthly Archives: October 2013

African Buffalo Rescue

African buffaloes, which are known to be among the most vicious and ruthless species in the animal kingdom, can be highly unpredictable. While few would risk their lives to get close to one of these beasts, the wildlife rangers at Rukinga Ranch were recently left with little choice when a female African Buffalo was discovered trapped in a water tank. Those who assisted in her rescue assume the unfortunate buffalo was accidently knocked off balance while its herd was drinking from the tank.

The buffalo growing tired after the tank is filled

The buffalo growing tired after the tank is filled

With help from our team in the office, Wildlife Works rangers agreed that the most effective way to rescue the ill-fated buffalo was to fill the water tank to the brim until the buffalo floated to a position where its massive body could be pulled or lifted to safety.

When the water tank finally began to overflow, our very own Conservation Landscape Manager, Fraser Smith, made the bold decision to pull the massive buffalo from the water tank.  In order to do so, Fraser and the team fastened a rope around the exhausted buffalo and covered its eyes with a cloth.

Wildlife Works crew fastening the rope to pull the buffalo to safety

Wildlife Works crew fastening the rope to pull the buffalo to safety

After the first two attempts, during which it inadvertently came loose, the rope was then strapped to the buffalo’s horns.  After more than nine exhausting hours, the buffalo was momentarily stunned when it found itself outside the tank, but quickly returned to its vicious nature.  Once it regained energy the buffalo immediately began to charge its rescuers, denting a vehicle and piercing a tire with its sharp horns, then disappeared into the bushes before the David Sheldrick Trust Team were able to sedate it and uncoil the rope from around its horns.

The rescue mission, not unlike another mission to rescue a baby elephant that had been stuck in the mud at Mgeno Ranch, represents the delicate interplay between humans and wildlife.

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About Wildlife Works Carbon:

Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.

Over a 15 year history Wildlife Works established a successful model that uses the emerging marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets to protect threatened forests, wildlife, and communities.

The company helps local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are governments, communities, ownership groups, or private individuals.

Ijema Returns to Work after an Incredible Recovery

On July 10th, Ijema was welcomed back into the Wildlife Works ranks after a nearly 18-month recovery following a gruesome poaching-related incident in which he received a bullet wound to his shoulder. The catastrophe, which was the first time in Wildlife Works’ 15 years of operation that an employee was lost to a poaching-related incident, also lead to the death of ranger, Abdullahi Mohammed.

Ijema and his family are happy to report tremendous improvements to his health after undergoing an operation to have a replacement titanium plate fitted to increase the mobility in his shoulder.

Ijema after his successful shoulder surgery

Ijema after his successful shoulder surgery

Those working close with him report a jubilant Ijema who has come back with renewed vigor. “Ijema is feeling much better and livelier,” says Eric, the head ranger. “We are putting him on light duties until we are assured that he is strong enough to start taking on more demanding duties.”

Ijema, who currently spends most of his time doing patrols with Eric, was among a team of WW rangers and KWS officers tracking poachers after the discovery of a wounded elephant in the Kasigau Corridor project area.
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Only wildlife rangers, such as Ijema, are experienced enough to get this close to an elephant

An optimistic Ijema expressed appreciation for U.S. government efforts, such as President Obama’s formation of a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and his pledge to donate $10 million towards combating crimes against wildlife, to eliminate the ruthless killing of elephants and other rare wildlife.

Our rangers indeed report that there have been fewer cases of poaching reported around the Wildlife Works project area after the government launched a major security operation to eliminate nomadic herders from the ranches.

Ijema with colleagues after he was able to return to work

Ijema with colleagues after he was able to return to work

“I am grateful to be coming back to work at a time when fewer cases of poaching have been reported in the last few months,” says Ijema.

“I realize and appreciate the efforts that everyone concerned is putting into place to eliminate poaching from our wildlife sanctuaries and make them a better place for both the wildlife and the communities that live around them, “ concludes Ijema.

WHAT IS WILDLIFE WORKS?

Protecting + Forests + Wildlife + Community since 1997.

Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests.