‘Zimbabwe’ 38 Elephants Killed In Six Months, Now Eleven Elephants Killed In Cyanide Attack

Photo-Patrick Sibanda, A senior wildlife officer with the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority looks at the remains of the poisened elephants at Hwange National Parks on Sunday. Pic Aaron Ufumeli
Eleven elephants have been found dead at Number Nine area and Deka Safari area in the past week in a case suspected to be cyanide poisoning.

The first batch of elephant carcasses comprising four females and one bull were found ten metres apart of each other on the 26th of September and a report was made at the Dete Police Station.

National parks rangers and members of the ZRP Support Unit visited the affected area and discovered that the elephants had been poisoned with cyanide deposited in three salt licks.

The tusks of the five elephants were removed and taken to Hwange Main Camp for safe keeping.

The second batch of de-horned elephant carcasses comprising three adult elephants and three calves was discovered on the 2nd of October at an advanced state of decomposition.

“We can confirm that we have had a number of poaching activities in the province they are actually increasing each day,” says Officer Commanding Matabeleland North, Snr Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriarwa.

“Some of the cases are shooting. Some are done through the use of firearms and of course we have cases where we suspect that there is cyanide poisoning.

” We have instituted a number of operations to try and curb that. One such operation is the ‘Operation Nhaka Yedu’,” he said.

No arrests have been made so far, but the Zimbabwe Republic Police has called for stiffer penalties on all cases of poaching.

Investigations reveal that a total of 38 elephants with a total value of $250 thousand were killed by poachers between January and July, while two lions with a total value of $100 000 were killed during the same period. Source – zbc


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