THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has started de-stocking its wildlife population to avert drought-induced animal deaths.
Source: ZimParks destocks to curb wildlife deaths – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 3 2016
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
In a statement yesterday, ZimParks said the destocking exercise involved selling excess wild animals to ensure the available pastures and water resources do not get exhausted before the onset of the next rainy season.
This came amid reports that a top Togolese government official was in the country last week to negotiate a deal to buy some of the animals.
“In light of the drought that was induced by the El-Nino phenomenon, ZimParks intends to destock its parks estates selling some of the wildlife. The authority is, therefore, inviting members of the public with the capacity to acquire and manage wildlife to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI),” ZimParks said, adding interested bidders would pay a non-refundable fee of $50 to get EOI forms.
The closing date for the submission of the EOI is May 20, 2016.
“Intending Zimbabwean participants must provide the following information about the habitat which they intend to put the acquired animals: name and address of property, size of property, ownership of the property, description of current land use, intended use for the acquired animals and existing infrastructure e.g. fences, water availability, roads, fireguards, protection/law enforcement capacity and management.”
Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri recently warned that this year’s El-Nino weather phenomenon posed a threat to the country’s wildlife, with pastures and water sources diminishing as a result.
She appealed to corporate organisations and the international community to assist government in drilling more boreholes in wildlife sanctuaries to reduce water shortages.
Several elephants and other wildlife have died over the years as water pans dried up due to drought and ZimParks has this year resolved not to take any chances owing to the El-Nino drought.
Depleting water sources have also been seen as leveraging poachers since the animals would be severely vulnerable.