Saving Kenya’s Wildlife: Battling the Silent Threat of Snares

In the vast expanses of Kenya’s wilderness, a hidden menace silently stalks its prey, leaving devastating consequences.

This threat comes in the form of snares, simple yet deadly traps constructed from wire or rope strategically placed within wildlife habitats.

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Once triggered, these snares tighten swiftly like a noose, ensnaring animals of all sizes, from dik-diks to bull elephants, without discrimination.


The escalation in snare usage poses a severe threat to Kenya’s wildlife population. Data from the SWT/KWS Mobile Veterinary Units reveals a concerning trend: in 2017, snare victims made up only 9.9% of annual cases, but by 2022, this figure skyrocketed to 26.1%.

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Leopards, lions, zebras, giraffes, buffalos, and elephants have all fallen victim to these dangerous traps.

Urgent intervention is imperative, and fortunately, rescue teams have managed to save numerous lives that would have otherwise perished.


The alarming rise in snare utilization is underscored by data collected by the SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams, showing a staggering 230% increase in ranger seizures of snares between 2017 and 2022.

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This surge in poaching activities highlights the urgent need for intervention while also demonstrating the effectiveness of active patrolling.

Through their vigilant efforts, teams have intercepted numerous snares, preventing further harm to innocent wildlife.


In a recent video, witness the dedicated work of the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit as they attend to a bull elephant suffering from snare wounds.

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Although not the intended target, the elephant fell victim to the deadly grasp of the poacher’s trap.

Thanks to the rapid response of the dedicated team, the elephant now stands a fighting chance at survival.


Together, let’s continue our efforts to safeguard Kenya’s wildlife from the threat of snares, ensuring a safer future for all its inhabitants.

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