Poaching in Zimbabwe on the rise

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A wildlife official in Zimbabwe said today that the amount of animal poaching in the country has increased substantially this year, blaming an international crime syndicate. He said that 65 elephants and 30 rhinoceroses have been killed this year by poachers.

"From January to October this year we have lost 65 elephants through poaching," said Vitalis Chadenga, the operations director of the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority. "In the same period we have lost 24 black and six white rhinos. It is true that we have witnessed an escalation of poaching nationwide, particularly on private farms."

"We do have a group of international gangsters, who are funding poachers around this part of the world and taking away many horns and it is a major problem," the director continued; "we have arrested 2,500 poachers in the same period, ten poachers have been shot dead since the beginning of this year."

Zimbabwe is one of four countries in Africa that are home to large numbers of rhinos, the others being Kenya, Namibia, and South Africa. About 100,000 elephants live in Zimbabwe, and Chandenga said that the numbers have been growing in past years.