Elephants poisoned, govt must act: HGTA

via Elephants poisoned, govt must act: HGTA | The Zimbabwean by Pamenus Tuso 24.09.13

The state has been called on to intervene after 81 elephants died of cyanide poisoning in Hwange National Park.

Langton Masunda, the chairperson of the Hwange/Gwayi Tourism Association told The Zimbabwean that poachers were poisoning elephants and warned that it would have far-reaching consequences for the environment, the animals, human beings, tourists and safari operators.

“Elephants are a shared natural resource. Gwayi conservancy is a buffer zone between the national park and the local communities. If the park catches a cough, the entire Gwayi conservancy sneezes,” said Masunda. “Elephants are very sensitive and intelligent animals. Whenever they sense danger, they migrate. This issue should be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Masunda said conservancy operators were concerned about the cyanide contamination of wildlife drinking water sources in the park. Poachers, working as organised syndicates, are targetting pools frequented by the jumbos. “Very soon the rains are coming and our fear is that traces of the cyanide will be washed away and contaminate more wildlife drinking water sources.

Chances are high that more animals and birds such as vultures are likely to die as a result of feeding on the carcasses of the elephants,” said Masunda.

The Hwange ecological disaster comes at a time when tourism in the area is under serious threat from mines that have recently opened in the area. In the past two years, the whole of the Gwayi Conservation area has been parceled out as part of a Chinese coal-mining venture.



  • comment-avatar
    desyrae krause 11 years ago

    This is criminal!!!
    How can this happen??
    The Chinese government should be held directly, criminally responsible for this horrid atrocity.
    Stop their mining activities.
    Send them back to their own country.
    Anyone who even wears ivory should be shot.

  • comment-avatar
    Stuart Lowe 11 years ago

    The international WWF and World Wildlife Conservation organisations and GOVERNMENTS must get more involved and pose harsh sentences. CHINA and VIETNAM need to be banned from AFRICA.
    They are ruining this continent.
    The eastern demand for IVORY and RHINO HORN and WILD ANIMAL POACHING MUST BE declared illegal – or the globe will have no more wild animals. Africa will then have no more tourism.
    ALL ANIMAL POACHING must be Banned and declared illegal with lifetime sentences/ death penalties / life time supervised community services with wildlife.
    DO NOT BUY IVORY ANYMORE – NO DEMAND – becomes worthless.