We regret to advise that on 3rd February there was a devastating fire at Freight Consultants premises where your trophies were being stored pending export.
The premises were closed and alarmed at 16.25 hours. At 18.20 hours the alarm was activated and the security monitoring company, on arrival at the premises, reported a fire. The fire brigade was called out at 18.22 hours and they responded immediately. The factory was monitored by CCTV as well.
As the warehouse stored mainly cases and cartons of hunting trophies, the fire spread uncontrollably. By the time they managed to put the fire out, about 95% of the 450-500 cases of trophies were destroyed.
Numerous shipments were being held back as a result of US Fish and Wildlife seizing shipments where the CITES export permit did not have a year of export quota number. Shipments which had elephant, leopard and crocodile were held back until National Parks were in a position to issue export permits with a year of export quota number reflected. There was a further delay as the computer in the National Parks, Bulawayo permits office had a problem. There is only one computer in the permits office in Bulawayo on which permits can be issued. They have not been able to issue permits the whole of January. So some shipments were held back for four months (October to January) waiting for replacement permits bearing the year of export quota number to be issued.
At present Freight Consultants are moving the in tact cases that escaped the fire to another warehouse. They will then try and salvage as much a possible such as ivory and a small amount of trophies. It should be borne in mind that Freight Consultants have been instructed not to tamper with any trophies until investigations have been finalised.
The Zimbabwe operators and Taxidermists whose clients were affected are as follows:
ALLADALE ENTERPRISESMATUPULA HUNTERS
COLLETT'S WILDLIFE ARTISTRY MAZUNGA SAFARIS
GEORGIA SAFARIS NENGASHA SAFARIS
HHK SAFARIS SAFARILAND TAXIDERMY
LODZI HUNTERS TAXIDERMY ENTERPRISES
LOWVELD SAFARIS ZIMAFRICA SAFARIS
MALILANGWE MATABELELAND TAXIDERMY
The above operators represent approximately 200 clients.
We consider it appropriate to just give you a background of Freight Consultants. Lily Milne the owner of Freight Consultants has been handling the export of hunting trophies since 1982 firstly with Cargo Services for 23 years until 2005. Freight Consultants was then established. In excess of 15,000 shipments have been exported successfully by them during this period of 30 years.
Please bear in mind, a large number of clients have been affected and we respectfully request your patience and emphasise that we understand and empathise with your anxiety on the status of your shipment.
As and when we have more information we will keep you informed.