ZIMPARKS BOARD, DIRECTOR GENERAL, DIRECTORATE, MANAGEMENT AND STAFF, CONGRATULATES HONOURABLE EDGAR MBWEMBWE ON HIS RECENT APPOINTMENT AS THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, ENVIRONMENT AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY.
WE WELCOME YOU TO THE TOURISM, ENVIRONMENT AND HOSPITALITY SECTOR.
IN HARMONY WITH NATURE…
(insert from herald Walter Mswazie and Runesu Gwidi)
Zimbabwe’s elephant population has ballooned to 84 000, exceeding the carrying capacity of 50 000 jumbos, which is exerting pressure on the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Speaking during the launch of the Command Water Harvesting project in Masvingo recently, Zimparks director-general Mr Filton Mangwanya said the problem has been worsened by the CITES ban on the sale of elephants.
“Since we are unable to sell our elephants due to CITES restriction, the elephants’ population has ballooned to 84 000 and yet we have a carrying capacity of only 50 000,” he said. He said the authority was failing to contain poaching activities, partly due to staff shortages. This has seen one game ranger being responsible for manning 1 000 square kilometres of area when the ideal situation should be one ranger per 20 square kilometres. Mr Mangwanya decried rampant poaching activities in Zimbabwe that saw a good number of the elephants being killed through shooting or poisoning.
A total of 893 jumbos were killed by poachers during the period between 2013 and 2016. Out of this number, 249 elephants were killed through poisoning using cyanide and shooting. We suspect that these poisonous chemicals come from the mining and agriculture sectors or other chemical industries,” said Mr Mangwanya. Mr Mangwanya said Zimparks had potential to contribute to the country’s economic development, but this was being affected by a lack of resources.
“Our own lodges at national parks are not in good shape, while perimeter fences have been destroyed by unscrupulous villagers, resulting in human-animal conflict,” he said. Zimparks, he said, felt that if they were allowed to sell some of the elephants, they could get resources to refurbish infrastructure at national parks and game reserves.
Jul 19, 2017 | Local News
Two elephants have been killed in a suspected case of cyanide poisoning around Hwange National Park.
The carcasses of the two jumbos were discovered on Monday by anti-poaching officers.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) confirmed the suspected cyanide poisoning case after officers who were on patron around Hwange National Park noticed the carcasses of two adult elephants.
The case has since been reported to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) which is now conducting further investigations, while a task which was removed from one of the elephants has since been recovered.
Zimparks Public Relations Manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo said the suspected cyanide poison was administered on the saltlick, adding that the recovered task has been sent for safekeeping while 150 anti-poaching unit officers have been deployed to deal with the emerging poaching cases.
Mr Farawo added that the authority in collaboration with other government agencies is working tirelessly to reduce cases of poaching with cumulative figures for 2017 indicating a downward trend compared to last year.
Recent reports from Zimparks show that between January and June 2017, a total of 14 elephants were lost due to poaching activities.
During the recently held third Defence and Security Chief Meeting hosted by Zimbabwe, member countries were challenged to domesticate the SADC law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy.
Insert from Zbc
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers have shot and killed two poachers after an exchange of gunfire at Matusadonha Mountains.
Two pieces of elephant tasks have been recovered while two of the poachers managed to escape.
Zimparks’ well-trained rangers who were on a regular patrol of Matusadonha Mountains exchanged gunfire with four poachers’ yesterday afternoon.
Two of the poachers were shot and killed during the exchange.
The poachers are still to be identified and the case has since been reported to the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
Zimparks public relations manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident adding the rangers who had exhausted other avenues to arrest the poachers had to resort to the exchange of gunfire resulting in the unfortunate loss of lives.
The Zimparks public relations manager highlighted the incident should serve as a warning to would be poachers that the authority will do everything in its powers to protect the country wildlife heritage.
The country continues to face worrying trends of poaching with calls for the private sector and communities to partner Zimparks in the fight against poaching scourge.