Monday, April 21, 2008

Care for the Wild - Kenya

Introduction to Care for the Wild Kenya

Established in 1997, Care for the Wild Kenya (CFTWK) protects wildlife from cruelty and exploitation within Kenya. By working with local people, organisations and government bodies on practical projects, we make areas safe from poachers, rehabilitate sick or injured animals and provide sanctuary for those animals who cannot return to the wild. We also promote wider conservation goals through research, education and advocacy. Projects that we are involved with include:

  • Wildlife conservation schemes, including habitat conservation to safeguard suitable environments and maintain viable ecosystems
  • Anti-poaching programmes in the Tsavo National Parks and the Masai Mara, such as de-snaring, to prevent the suffering of individual animals and in turn protect whole populations of many animal species
  • Enforcement of international and national wildlife laws by supporting anti-poaching officers and investigative operations
  • Research into illegal wildlife trade and conservation issues as well as academic sponsorship for nationals of developing countries working in the wildlife sector
  • Practical assistance and financial aid for animal rescue and rehabilitation centres in Kenya if necessary
  • Community development programmes and educational outreach projects

Bushmeat Trade

In Africa, forest is often referred to as 'the bush', thus wildlife and the meat derived from it is referred to as the 'bushmeat'. This term applies to all wildlife species including the threatened and endangered ones such as the elephants and the gorillas. Other species such as the antelopes are greatly affected as well. In recent years, bushmeat has taken a different dimension from subsistence to commercial. As a result, wildlife is being depleted at such an alarming rate that the future for wildlife look bleak. We at CFTWK are doing all we can to reduce the numbers of animals hunted for bushmeat. Our main focus is to educate the locals on the importance of conserving wildlife for the current as well as the future generation. In order to curb the bushmeat trade we are actively involved on de-snaring programmes in the Tsavo and the Masai Mara. The most common methods used today to trap anmals for bushmeat are wire snares which has a very painful and traumatizing experience for the animal trapped in the snare.

Anti-Poaching and De-Snaring

Snares are crude, indiscriminate killers and as a result many non-target species are caught. The illegal snaring of wild animals is placing extra pressure on already threatened populations of many species, as well as threatening the functioning of whole ecosystems. Conservation problems, such as reduced availability of breeding individuals, reduced genetic variability within a population and alteration of the way an ecosystem functions due to the loss of sufficient numbers of a key species can all result from poaching activities.

The scale of the snaring problem in Africa is such that it is extremely difficult to definitively ascertain the number of snares set each year in the continents national parks. An example of the levels of snaring needed to be tackled can be taken from de-snaring operations undertaken in Tsavo National Park where in just five patrols, 1,272 snares were removed. To put this into context, 1,000 snares with an estimated 5% catch rate per day would be responsible for killing 18,250 animals each year. These animals would die slow, agonising deaths from strangulation or the injuries resulting from severed limbs or deep lacerations.CFTWK recognises that levels of poaching increase when local people move into protected areas to obtain resources when other sources are depleted or unavailable. One of the reasons for this is a reliance of villagers on firewood that is used for cooking and lighting. Villagers living around national parks often encroach over the park boundaries when other areas have been denuded of suitable fuel material, and therefore suitable wildlife habitat, and illegally utilise the forest as a source of fuel and meat. CFTWK has been involved in projects to reduce reliance on the need to harvest local resources and therefore reduce human-animal interactions within park boundaries.

Thus, objectives and activities of CFTWK’s anti-poaching and de-snaring work include:

  • The removal of snares to prevent the suffering and death of wildlife

  • Determination of snaring hotspots and arrests of those involved in poaching, thus creating a deterrent to other poachers
  • Prevention of habitat destruction caused by illegal logging and charcoal burning and arrests of those involved
  • Creation of environmental conservation awareness amongst local people through education in the sustainable use of natural resources and the effects of illegal resource procurement
  • Providing vetinary aid to animals injured through human activities
Help our cause

If you would like to contribute towards supporting this cause please contact us on the following e-mail address:

Contact Person: Asgar Pathan
Email Address:

Your comments and feedback on the above will be highly appreciated