Human-wildlife conflict claims 20

Twenty people have died after being attacked by wild animals across the country in the first five months of the year, while several others were injured as cases of human-wildlife conflict continue to increase.

Most of the fatalities were recorded in communities near wildlife habitats where animals increasingly come into contact with humans after straying in search of food and water.

In some cases, the animals stray from their habitat because people vandalise the perimeter fence of such areas.

This comes as Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has deployed game rangers to Bikita where lions, elephants and buffaloes, believed to be from Devuli Ranch in the Save Valley Conservancy are on the prowl killing livestock and destroying property. They are also threatening human life and limb.

Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo yesterday expressed concern over increasing cases of human-wildlife conflict and the loss of life due to such instances.

“In the first five months of this year, from January to May we have already lost 20 lives around the country at the hands of wild animals while a good number were injured and the most dangerous animals have been crocodiles, lions, elephants and buffaloes.”

“We have moved in and made sure that we deal with all the wild animals that have been causing problems because the preservation of human life is always our first priority.”

He said Zimparks rangers were currently on the ground in Bikita following an increase in human/wildlife conflict.

“We have a team of rangers on the ground that is dealing with a pride of lions that has been killing livestock in extreme eastern parts of Devuli Ranch in Save Valley bordering Bikita. We fear these lions can also attack humans,” he said.

“The truth of the matter is that most of our game parks are now overpopulated and this increases the propensity of our wild animals to move in search of scarce food and water.”

Besides lions, buffaloes were also roaming freely in parts of Bikita raising the spectre of foot and mouth outbreak in the district.

Mr Farawo said besides Bikita, other districts bordering Save Valley namely Buhera, Chipinge, Zaka and Chiredzi were also at the mercy of wild animals searching for food and water.

https://www.herald.co.zw/human-wildlife-conflict-claims-20/

Zimbabwe Endangered Species Fund Appeal for Donations

As human society grapples with the burden brought upon us all by the Coronavirus Pandemic, wildlife is also faced with a pandemic that’s threatens the ecosystem which it calls home. Conservation and preservation of our game reserves has relied heavily on funding generated from tourism.

In order to save our lives, we have to stay indoors, the coronavirus does not move by itself, people move the coronavirus to each other. Tourism simply means not being at home, and the industry has shut its doors. Airplanes are grounded, borders are closed and 96% of countries have imposed travel restrictions on non residents.

We have a new pandemic that is brewing in the game reserves – “Wildlife Survival”. Without funds, the wildlife would not be protected from poachers and droughts, all animals are now endangered this is no longer about elephants or rhinoceros or pangolins but ALL animals are threatened.

Help the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority protect the wildlife and the environment during this difficult time by donating to the Zimbabwe Endangered Species Fund.

The proceeds shall enhance the supply of water to vulnerable wildlife populations and supplies for rangers to patrol the parks and defend the wildlife we all hold dear.

For donations click on the following link DONATE

 

ZIMPARKS STATEMENT ON CORONA VIRUS

The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is implementing preparatory measures as advised by the Ministry of Health as an outcome of the meetings held with tourism sector players in Victoria Falls and Harare recently.

The Authority is conducting nationwide awareness campaigns for its staff members on standard operating procedures on preventing contamination and managing suspected cases of COVID 19.

Our Health and Safety department is teaching fellow members on behaviour that enables management of the spread of Coronavirus with particular emphasis to frequent handwashing, reduced physical contact with fellow workers, reporting of suspected cases, enhanced use of electronic communication such as emailing, video conferencing as a substitute to meetings, sanitising of hands at all entry points for staff and social distancing

Hand sanitisers are now available at all our offices while major parks will soon have hand held thermometers to check the temperatures of all persons entering. We request for cooperation during these exercises as it is in the best interest of national health.

Customers are advised that as social distancing is part of the measures used to prevent the spread of the virus, self drive game drives are worth considering as you maintain contact with only those in your social circle for recreational activities, this also includes activities such as fishing and birdwatching or hiking that are not high pedestrian traffic activities.

We shall be monitoring and managing the number of people that enter into high visitor traffic parks at any given time such as Chinhoyi Caves and Victoria Falls in order to avoid crowding that facilitates the practice of social distancing.

We remain committed to ensuring the best wildlife experience to our guests and encourage everyone to alert parks officials where any assistance is required.

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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.