ZRP, Zimparks in joint operation

ZRP, Zimparks in joint operation

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) are conducting joint operations meant to curb poaching around the country. It is believed that Zimparks is also pushing for a law that criminalises cyanide possession – a lethal chemical that is used to poison wildlife – especially in areas where there are no mining activities. Over the years, Hwange National Park has become the prime target for poachers who use cyanide to poison animals, especially elephants.

In an interview yesterday, Zimparks public relations manager Mr Tinashe Farawo said poaching declined markedly over the past four months, particularly in Hwange.

He noted that poaching activities had largely been contained as a result of support from the new political administration.
“Some of the reasons that have led to the decrease in poaching cases are that there is now political will from the highest office to deal with poaching,” said Mr Farawo.

“Since the coming in of the new leadership, poaching has been going down.”
Mr Farawo said so far this year, Zimparks had not received any reports of poaching involving cyanide poisoning or through use of rifles.

According to Mr Farawo, joint operations between police and the wildlife management body were being successful.
“We are having positive results and we are also embarking on awareness campaigns with the judiciary and various stakeholders,” he said.

“The judiciary has also been very supportive. We are, however, in the process of lobbying for a Statutory Instrument that will make it an offence to possess cyanide, especially in non-mining areas.”

Last year, 640 poachers were arrested across the country, of which 590 were locals and 50 were foreigners.
Also, 50 rifles and 112 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

It is understood that more than half the arrested poachers have since been convicted.
Statistics indicate that about 893 elephants were killed in Matabeleland North province between 2013 and 2016.
Zimbabwe has arguably the largest elephant population in Africa at 84 000, with the figure being 34 000 more than the country’s carrying capacity.

 Insert from herald : Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter

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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.