Fresh land invasions at the Chiredzi River Conservancy are threatening the elephant community there, with illegal settlers killing the animals and destroying their habitat.
About 70 elephants call the Conservancy home, but an influx of land invaders in recent months has seen the animals' territory being taken over. According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), the land invaders are cutting down trees, poaching and "destroying the already damaged environment."
The group said in a statement that the elephant herd is also becoming increasingly traumatized, because they are constantly being harassed and chased. "The animals are extremely stressed and some young calves are missing. One elephant has a new snare embedded in its flesh and two months ago, two young elephants in the area were decapitated, one being a lactating cow," the ZCTF said.
Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the ZCTF, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the elephants could all be wiped out if the situation is not dealt with urgently.
He explained that if the elephants continue to be threatened "they will lash out and then be declared problem animals. And in Zimbabwe, problem animals are killed." He also explained that the people who have moved into the elephants' territory have already abandoned land "they were either given or which they took," under the land grab campaign." The invaders have destroyed the areas they were given in the first place, by burning and over grazing and they are now turning their attention to the areas occupied by the wildlife," Rodrigues explained, adding that the conservancy land is not suitable for agriculture at all.
Rodrigues said that environment Minister Francis Nhema has been approached to help protect the elephants, but when asked if the animals could be relocated to a safer area, "he was adamant that they must stay in the Chiredzi River Conservancy." Nhema also stated that the settlers were there illegally, but Rodrigues said that "no attempt is being made to relocate the settlers."
"The Zimbabwean wildlife has already taken such a beating since the onset of the land reform programme and it is imperative that we try and preserve the remaining animals. The destruction taking place in the Chiredzi River Conservancy is so pointless and unnecessary," Rodrigues said.
The ZCTF chairman also called on the public to write to the Zimbabwean government to try and pressure it into taking action."We want to try and get as many people as possible from around the world to write and protest what is happening. We need a serious outcry for this to stop," Rodrigues said.
Thank you 'richteb' for this post - ...sad brother...really sad!
I cannot help feeling a white-hot flame (anger???) burning in me when i read this type of articles where human (???) population is trampling / eradicating nature! Hell i cannot explain just how furious i get!
I am reading a book by Kevin Thomas - 'Shadows in an African twilight' Kevin also describe similar human (???) injustaces to the wildlife in the CRC. Although Kevin's stories refer back quite a couple of years - it is really sad to see things are getting worse there and NOTHING is done to assist nature.
Hell i don't want to go on about this here, i will start saying what i mean and meaning what i say and i could get :banned:
Like FHM3006, what I want to say is unprintable. Please fill in the blank as desired!
You are not alone in your sentiment. Unfortunately I fear that the situation will only get worse as the population increases in Africa.
Enjoy Kevins book, I have a signed copy he left for me at the Bulawayo club. Read it whilst on safari. Kind of appropriate.
If you enjoy Kevins book I suggest Ron Thomson as good read also.
Originally Posted by richteb
You got that right - it's like f..kn locusts just swarming over nature and devouring everyting in their paths on this continent - it is nothing but termination of natural resources and wildlife, natural extermination - genocide of nature !!! (l better leave this post now...)
Yeh mate, don't you brag too much about your signed copy - he noted a message and his signature in mine as well - collectors item!?!
This is sad news..
I also have read that land squatters are on the move looking for new places to live...The government is very slow in removing the problem land squatters.
This is taking place land is secured...homes are built...trees and bushes are cleared for firewood...they usually have dogs like greyhounds for running game down...snares are put further out....
Firewood..on weekends families will walk up a half of a day or further to gather fire wood for the week at the village i saw.
Homes...Are stick and mud construction...with thatched roof...
clearing the land...results in sever land erosion..ruts many feet deep...at the place i seen...
Greyhounds at every hut...and no wild life for miles from the hut...in fact one location there were no wild life period the trees were sparse and no one was living in the area, you could see the homes vacant the had all moved.
Men placing snares were usually accompanied with greyhounds, usually a days walk from the homes...
Mean while the government will not let you remove these squatters from your property, they have to do it and they are slow...just like molasses in winter
Just putting nature to waste, what idiocy.......