Elephants’ poisoning continues: ZimParks

via Elephants’ poisoning continues: ZimParks – DailyNews Live 8 August 2014 by Chengetai Zvauya

HARARE – Five elephants have died of cyanide poisoning since January as poachers continue to wreak havoc in national parks, a senior official has said.

Jefferson Matipano, acting director of Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Parks (ZimParks), told the parliamentary thematic committee on Peace and Security yesterday that poaching was still rampant, with poachers becoming more sophisticated.

Matipano was presenting oral evidence to the committee chaired by Zanu PF Senator Damian Mumvuri.

He claimed the poachers were coming from neighbouring countries.

“We have problems with foreign poachers coming from Zambia and Mozambique, working with the local poachers as couriers of the ivory,” Matipano said. “The locals are assisting them to get into the protected areas.

“They are using heavy firearms like AK rifles and silencer guns in their poaching.  They are still poisoning our elephants as we have lost five elephants this year through chemical poisoning using cyanide in the national parks.”

Matipano said poaching  was rampant in Gonarezhou,  Zambezi  and Victoria Falls national parks. He said they had engaged the services of national security agencies to help them stop the poaching.

“Most of their hunting, they are carrying it out in the night using silencer guns, and in one incident this year we fought a group of 18 poachers, resulting in one of them being killed while the rest fled,” Matipano said.

“We are having challenges in dealing with poachers as it has now become a matter of security and we are now working with the security forces to end the problem.”

He said poaching in national parks had persisted due to lack of resources to fight the scourge. He called on the business community and donors to help ZimParks curb poaching.

Last year, more than 300 elephants died of cyanide poisoning at Hwange National Park and Tshlotsho in one of the worst poaching atrocities in Zimbabwe.

Matipano also spoke on the  impact of landmines and said they had also  engaged soldiers to help de-mine areas around Gonarezhou, Zambezi and Victoria Falls national parks.

“We have managed to remove 57 landmines with the help of the soldiers in major national parks as the army has a budget on de-mining and they also have the expertise too,” Matipano said.


  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 7 years ago

    Funny how every Nat parks authority blames the neighbouring country??? Me thinks one big culture of poaching and complete lack of respect for all wildlife

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    Bambazonke 7 years ago

    It’s all controlled within ZPF easy money and it externalized by the peasants for the fat cats . Job done , look east policy is working for the few

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    Victim 7 years ago

    To us people of Tsholotsho those poachers are doing a splendid job bcoz these animals are a problem in our feilds now they are hynas and Lions in Tsholotsho ward 6 and 6 everyday they kill either a donkey or a cow we have reported this to responsible authories since January but no response have the next move will be the use of cynide we are bitter abt these useless parks authorities

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    Gomogranny 7 years ago

    Looking East…with a bit of cyanide to assist. Nice demand for ivory, pangolin scales, snakes – yes, well just about every creature left really. ZPF…..rape the country as usual. ZIMASSET I think it is called…..

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    Petal 7 years ago

    Now with people like Sharon Pinacott who gave their utmost to protecting them out of the picture ……no elephants

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      well without Sharon Pincott at least no elephants that nobody knows anything about and no specifics on a population, which is want they want of course, to not be accountable anymore. The new breed of Zim hunters are exactly the same as poachers and they do not come from another country. Our own sporthunters and those related to them will destroy everything. Wait and see Hwange’s name added to that list very very soon.

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    Reverend 7 years ago

    I have some Tonga people who work with me and they say with conviction that the Zambians are the culprits but they are being led by at least two ex National Parks officers who know the areas very well and apparantly have informers in parks who tell them where the patrols are. They say these people are ruthless and the people are afraid of them. They speak more about Chizarira as being their stomping grounds.
    With the US ban on sporthunted elephant products from Zim is going to take hundreds of anti poaching scouts out of circulation from safari operators and the poaching will get worse and the herds will be decimated.
    No sacrifice…No salvation.

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      That is not completely true. The US ban on sporthunted elephant trophies affects ONLY elephants. They still have every other animal still on quota to be able to kill, except of course they can hardly find any of these other animals to shoot these days, especially around Hwange, since they have all been shot out by uncontrolled hunting already. But the bottomline is that there is absolutely no reaon why anti-poaching scouts should be taken out of circulation by hunters just because of one ban of one species by one country. That is just stupid talk. If we looked after our elephants properly in the first place then the US would have never made recommendation for such a ban on Zimbabwe. But, why not, let us just blame sanctions, and the West, yet again.