A quick alert by satellite phone from our Morama ("Eastern") borehole staff of a poaching incident in progress at around 00:30 on Saturday morning (1st August) enabled us to alert the Botswana Defence Force's Anti Poaching Unit, which swiftly responded and was able to track down and surprise, later that day, a 5 man poaching gang. Two were arrested and the three that escaped were arrested the following day. When confronted they were in the process of drying the meat of an eland antelope they had killed during the night close to Morama using a shotgun and dogs. It is rare that poachers are caught red handed, with incriminating photo evidence secured that can lead to their conviction. This is the first poaching incident we have had in the area around Morama since activating the borehole last year, and although sad to lose this eland, the arrest of these poachers is a significant achievement in the battle against organized crime and the bushmeat trade. It will also help a great deal to deter any future poaching attempts in eastern NG3. This incident emphasizes the valuable surveillance and crime fighting role played by our community based wildlife monitoring programme in these otherwise unmonitored remote areas in western ngamiland. The dedication of both the community wildlife monitoring team members, and the BDF's Anti Poaching Unit, is impressive and highly commendable and this is a great example of what happens with good team work!
Photos taken on 1st of August, 2020 of two of the five poaching gang members caught (far right photo), the vehicle they used, and the meat from the poached eland.