via 8 more elephant carcasses found | The Herald October 12, 2013
EIGHT more elephant carcasses have been discovered in Hwange National Park in what is suspected to be a fresh case of cyanide poisoning.
According to latest reports, over 90 elephants have died of cyanide poisoning in the giant national park in what has been described as the worst poaching disaster in Zimbabwe’s history.
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya Moyo yesterday said the carcasses recently discovered were barely a day old.
“Eight more carcasses have been discovered in Hwange National Park and seven dead vultures were also found. We suspect that this is a fresh case of poisoning. However, we cannot reveal more details as investigations into the matter are still in progress,” she said.
Recently, three of the eight poachers arrested for spawning the Hwange ecological disaster after poisoning water holes and salt pans with cyanide pellets were jailed for an effective 16 years each.
The poisoning killed over 87 elephants and an indeterminate number of other animals on the food chain.
Villagers from Chief Siphoso’s area in Tsholotsho District confessed to making a living out of poisoning elephants with cyanide and resolved to give up the practice and work with authorities in conserving wildlife.
The villagers told a seven-member ministerial delegation led by Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere at Pumula Village under Chief Siphoso, that the breaking down of the Campfire programme, council and parks services led some of them to resort to poaching.
Pumula Village is about 87km from Tsholotsho Centre and is the area where cyanide poisoning of elephants was rife.