Zim rangers kill poacher, seize 28 tusks

2012-05-28 15:22

Harare - Zimbabwean game rangers killed a poacher and seized 28 elephant tusks during a weekend raid in the northeastern town of Binga, a wildlife official said on Monday.

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokesperson for the parks and wildlife authority, said in a statement that "14 pairs of ivory tusks which translates into 28 ivory tusks" were recovered.

An assault rifle and 67 rounds of ammunition, along with a cellphone with two Zambian sim cards, were also found.

She said the latest find brought to 50 the number of tusks recovered in the same region in less than a week after a gunfight last week left one poacher wounded and yielded 22 tusks.

"Of the recovered tusks some were still fresh from carcasses," Washaya-Moyo said.

A week earlier, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported the capture of a rare ant-eating pangolin in north-eastern Zimbabwe.

The animal is the latest target for poachers feeding a mainly Asian market, where pangolins are eaten as delicacies and their scales sought after for various remedies.

Pangolin scales - and rhinoceros horns - are made chiefly of keratin, a substance believed to have curative values in traditional Asian medicine despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

Poaching is rife in Zimbabwe's wildlife areas, where in some cases cross-border syndicates using advanced technology and aircraft are behind the killing of elephants and rhinos.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  poaching  |  southern africa

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