Monthly Archives: May 2016

Miasenyi Secondary School Gets Conservation Education Tour and Safari

Part of Wildlife Works community empowerment strategy includes ensuring that underprivileged students get the chance to view their beautiful ecosystem and see wildlife in its natural habitat. Since March 2015, the Wildlife Works Community Relations Department at our Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya has been running an education program for local students to tour the Wildlife Works diverse operations, learn about conservation at our Tsavo Discovery Center and experience wildlife firsthand.

Since the program started just over a year ago, over 25 schools have participated, bringing over 750 students through our curriculum. The aim is to eventually reach 80 schools in the area.

On 20th May 2016, Wildlife Works ran a trip for top performing students enrolled at Miasenyi Secondary School to attend one of our learning tours and safaris at Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary. There were 28 students and two teachers making a total of 30 that visited the site from the school.

On their arrival at Wildlife Works, the students had the chance to interact with and learn from many of the departments such as: greenhouse, screen printing, eco factory, workshop and soap factory in a fun, interactive way.

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephantsMiasenyi Secondary School students getting a tour of the greenhouse

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephants, eco factory, fair trade fashionStudents getting a tour of the eco factory

The students were later taken out on a game drive across the Sanctuary in the enormous 1962 French ‘Berliet’ Truck, now baptized ‘Beba Kuu’. From the height of this ultimate discovery vehicle, we spotted a whole herd of buffalo at the edge of a watering hole, a family of elephants including several young, many antelope species from one of the smallest (dik-dik) to the largest (eland), a few zebra, giraffe and warthogs which scuttled across the road in front of ‘Beba Kuu’.

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephantsStudents aboard ‘Beba Kuu’ start their safari

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephantsStudents looking out for game at the watering hole

The students were very excited at having seen so many different animals in their natural habitat, and all stood up in their seats pointing every time we came across a new species. You could feel their anxiety when seeing wildlife like buffalo and elephants during the trip.

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephantsFamily of elephants spotted on the safari drive

The group also stopped at the Tsavo Discovery Center, an education center and eco lodge located between Tsavo East and West National Parks. Here, the students had a chance to visit the science lab and museum to learn about different animal skulls, amphibians, insects, and also the terrible consequences of poaching.

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephantsChecking out the museum at the Tsavo Discovery Center

Most rural schools in Kenya cannot afford to take their students on educational fieldtrips and most families cannot afford to pay extra funds to support extracurricular activities, therefore these trips that Wildlife Works has been running are critical for local youth to learn about and appreciate their environment.

You could feel the excitement from the Miasenyi students on the trip especially when they caught their first glimpses of wildlife, and they left promising to be part of wildlife and environmental conservation.

wildlife works, kenya, wildlife education, eco tourism, safari, elephantsHappy Miasenyi Secondary School students at the end of the day

Rangers Free a Snared Buffalo

On 10 May the Wildlife Works team at the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, Kenya, witnessed a conservation success story; our rangers led the rescue of a young wild buffalo from a poaching snare and set it free to join his herd.

The 500,000 acres of land that make up the Wildlife Works project area are patrolled by 85 Wildlife Works Rangers, led by Head Ranger Eric Sagwe. During a routine daily morning patrol, a Special Operations ranger group discovered some unusual tracks and followed them deep into the bush. The team found a young buffalo snared in trap set by poachers for bush meat.

The vet also inspected the buffalo’s teeth and was therefore able to determine that he was about 2.5 years old.

The bush meat trade is illegal in Kenya, however rural communities occasionally still practice it for personal and commercial consumption. Since Wildlife Works started operating in the area in 1997, incidents of bush meat poaching have gone down to almost none, thanks to increased patrolling, local job creation and community awareness.

A team was immediately assembled of Wildlife Works’ rangers and the local Mobile Veterinary Unit from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is called in such incidents to tranquilize the snared animal and treat any injuries. The team set off into the bush with haste in order to remove the snare as soon as possible.

The vet also inspected the buffalo’s teeth and was therefore able to determine that he was about 2.5 years old.Head Wildlife Works Ranger Eric watches while the vet prepares the tranquilizer drug

wildlife works, tsavo, david shedrick, kws, kenya wildlife services, wildlife rescueVet prepares the tranquilizer gun

When the group came across the young buffalo, they saw that luckily, the snare was only caught around his horns, causing no major injuries. The buffalo was feisty, charging at the trucks in an attempt to break free. After the vet successfully tranquilized the bull with a dart gun, the team was able to safely approach him to remove the snare.

wildlife works, tsavo, david shedrick, kws, kenya wildlife services, wildlife rescueThe buffalo calms down after being tranquilized

From that point the team moved with speed and precision: simultaneously detaching the wire snare from around his horns, treating the skin on his head, removing the trap from the tree, dousing his back with water to keep him cool, and holding his nose up from the dust by his horns.

wildlife works, tsavo, david shedrick, kws, kenya wildlife services, wildlife rescueThe vet also inspected the buffalo’s teeth and was therefore able to determine that he was about 2.5 years old.

The vet also inspected the buffalo’s teeth and was therefore able to determine that he was about 2.5 years old.

Within a few minutes the operation was complete and the vet brought the buffalo back around with a second injection, while the crew watched from a safe distance. The buffalo stood up with a slight wobble and then darted off into the bush to find his herd.

wildlife works, tsavo, david shedrick, kws, kenya wildlife services, wildlife rescueThe back of the rescued buffalo the moment he woke up and ran off into the bush

This was a lucky encounter; it was lucky that the team found the buffalo before his human hunter or perhaps a hyena or lion, that the snare caught him so that he was not injured, and that he was mature enough to survive without his mother.

Said Head Ranger Eric, “I was impressed by my rangers skill at tracking, the quick response of the KWS unit and that we managed to save a life, which is the most important thing.”

The successful rescue is a testament to the skill and dedication of the Wildlife Works Rangers, who work tirelessly to prevent and track illegal activities in the area, such as poaching and charcoal production. The also incident highlights the challenges of conservation in areas with human-wildlife conflict, where local people live in close proximity to important wildlife and hunt it for food to feed their families. Thanks to the team for all their hard work!

ASOS Foundation Continues to Fund Wildlife Work’s Community

Wildlife Works partners with ASOS, a large online retailer in Europe that produces with our affiliate factory SOKO, to implement ASOS Foundation funded initiatives in Kenya. Two local development projects that have recently been completed by this partnership are the construction of a water pipeline and the making of lockers and chairs for Buguta Secondary School in Taita Taveta County, Kenya.

asos foundation buguta wildlife works

The ASOS Foundation has funded the construction of 5.7 km of pipeline to supply clean drinking water for domestic and human consumption to 150 households in the town of Mackinnon Road. The water originates from Mzima Springs in Tsavo National Park West, Kenya. The water pipeline project is managed by a local community based organization (CBO). The pipeline provides access to drinking water for the residents of Mackinnon who previously had to carry water long distances, limiting time available to individuals for education or work.

asos buguta wildlife works

The ASOS Foundation is also funding a classroom expansion and supplying new classroom equipment for Buguta Secondary School. Last year, they funded the construction of an assembly hall for the school that is now being remodeled into a classroom to accommodate growing numbers of students.

ASOS is also providing the necessary additional classroom equipment, 100 lockers and 100 chairs, which are being handmade by local craftsmen in the Wildlife Works workshop. More students have been added in the school, the learning environment is now conducive and teachers have enough space to walk in all corners of class during the lessons.

While the ASOS Foundation was the funder, Wildlife Works implemented both of these projects on the ground, using their local knowledge and expertise. ASOS Foundation has previously funded additional projects in the area, including a water catchment project at Kula Kila.

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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.

 

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.