Rhino Poaching Puts Zimbabwe Under Spotlight

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Rhino Poaching Puts Zimbabwe Under Spotlight

Zimbabwe faces possible censure from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) after losing at least 70 rhinos in the past 12 months to well co-ordinated local, regional and international poaching syndicates.

It emerged last week that Zimbabwe has been placed on the agenda of the next Cites meeting to be held next year.

CITES -- to which Zimbabwe is a signatory -- is an international wildlife protection body whose secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Areas hardest hit by rhino poachers are Lake Chivero, the Midlands, Hwange and the South-Eastern Lowveld, where there were many unlicensed guns smuggled through the country’s porous border with Mozambique.

In an interview, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director-general Dr Morris Mtsambiwa said the authority was worried by the resurgence of poaching targeting endangered species such as the rhino.

"Rhino poaching has put Zimbabwe in the spotlight within the framework of CITES. We now have to answer serious questions at CITES."

Dr Mtsambiwa said only last week game rangers shot and killed a suspected poacher, Stanford Machirori, as he tried to kill a rhino at Kyle Recreational Park in Masvingo.

Parks rangers shot and killed Machirori, a former army officer, after he tried to kill the rhino with a .303 rifle that was also recovered.

However, his accomplices managed to escape.

"Rhino poaching is now becoming a very serious problem for us. Over the past few years we have seen an upsurge in poaching activities and we have lost at least 70 rhinos over the past 12 months to poachers.

"We are facing organized poaching activities run by syndicates from the region that are now working in cahoots with locals. We are seeing more participation by local people unlike before,’’ said Dr Mtsambiwa.

Dr Mtsambiwa said the Parks authority was exploring ways of curbing the poaching of rhinos by, for example, reviving intensive patrol zones that were successfully employed in the past to combat poaching of endangered species like rhinos.

Efforts were also underway to recruit and train more rangers to beef up its staff to cope with the new challenges posed by poachers.

Parks was also working with other stakeholders such as the police and private conservancies to come up with new strategies to combat poaching of endangered species.

"We are also working with neighboring countries like South Africa to try and contain the scourge of poaching and we have an arrangement where we are also seconding our rangers to private conservancies to combat poaching," said Dr Mtsambiwa.


Source: The Herald
 

Safari Chick

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Wow, that's so terrible and super sad! It's just such a waste what's happening in Zim on so many levels:(:(:( What a tragedy!:puppydogeyes:
 

hound_hunter

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Very very sad news. That's really too bad to hear, if only there were some way to handle the situation a little better. I don't know if there could ever be enough game officers to make a difference. I can't believe so many were poached!
 

Calhoun

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Very sad news indeed!! I hope they can figure out a solution & get a grip on the problem!! We don't need the loss of hunting of any species in any country!! The real sad thing is once they successfully wipe out the Rhino in ZIM... the poachers will more than likely head to greener pastures & take this problem to the next country & the next country!!!!!!!!!
 

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