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elephant death toll climbs to 81 after cyanide poisoning
Bell, SW Radio Africa
September 23, 2013
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on the SW Radio Africa website
More than 80 elephants have died as a result of cyanide poisoning
at the Hwange National Park, in what is being described as a serious
crisis for the park.
members of a poaching syndicate have been arrested since the first
of the elephant carcasses were discovered late last month. The carcasses
were discovered after national parks authorities teamed up with
police to track suspected poachers, after hearing gunfire in the
by the police resulted in the grisly discovery of the elephants,
with their tusks removed. Further investigations led the police
to nearby Mafu homestead, where six suspected members of the poaching
gang were arrested and 17 elephant tusks were recovered.
authorities, the poaching syndicate laced salt licks with cyanide
and placed the salt at main water sources where the Hwange elephants
a large scale operation has been launched resulting in three more
arrests and the discovery of even more elephants remains.
the chairman of the Zimbabwe
Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) said the situation is “very
serious.” He told SW Radio Africa that greed and corruption
was to blame for allowing poaching to reach such serious levels.
are just so big. All the carnivores in the park like your lions,
your leopards, the birds, they will all have perished too from eating
the elephant meat,” Rodrigues said.
He added: “The
situation is just going to get worse and something needs to be done
to stop the carnage.”
high-level government delegation made another journey to Hwange
this weekend, the second visit in a week, to evaluate the situation.
The new Minister of Environment Savior Kasukuwere once again declared
a “war” against poaching.
zero tolerance to poaching. We must put a stop to this. We cannot
continue with this non-sense,” state media quoted Kasukuwere
Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi, who accompanied Kasukuwere to
Hwange, described the poisoning as case as “murder”
of Zimbabwe’s wildlife and pledged to take the fight an international
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