Victoria Falls Reporter
PARKS and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe has embarked on a restocking exercise at Zambezi National Park to replenish the dwindling wildlife population at the game reserve. Addressing conservationists, tour and adventure operators during the official release of wildlife from Save Conservancy in Chiredzi to Zambezi National Park on the outskirts of Victoria Falls yesterday, the outgoing Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Cde Francis Nhema said the was exercise would help boost the wildlife under- populated areas.
He attributed the decline in wildlife population to rampant poaching coupled with the breakdown of artificial sources of water at the Zambezi National Park.
“We have noted that poaching and migration led to the depreciation of wildlife in the Zambezi National Park. This park used to have a high volume of wildlife and today we are restocking and I wonder where we went wrong. We need conservation programmes, we need to educate our people on the need to protect our wildlife because it is our duty to protect them as they are part of our national heritage,” he said.
So far 101 wildebeest, 20 eland, 17 zebra and 98 impala have been translocated to Zambezi National Park from Save Conservancy. Ten giraffes will also be translocated to the park.
“This exercise is being done to increase wildlife population within the park in tandem with our bio-diversity conservation programmes and sustainable tourism within our protected areas,” said Cde Nhema. He said the population boost for the park was a remarkable step in the conservation history of Zimbabwe in the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA).
Cde Nhema said it was pleasing to note that the animals were coming from the Great Limpopo TFCA which was established 13 years ago.
“If we create more space for wildlife we shall definitely witness more of these occasions as our TFCAs become more productive and our partnerships in conservation become even stronger,” he said.
Cde Nhema said Zimbabweans should take pride in their wildlife and desist from poaching.
“Now that the restocking exercise for the park is almost complete, let me warn would be poachers that any illegal entry into the park will result in them facing the full wrath of the law,” he said.