Elephant killed 2km from anti-poaching workshop

2015-05-27 20:39

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Harare - Poachers in north-western Zimbabwe killed and sawed the tusks off an elephant just 2km away from where a workshop on elephant conservation and management had taken place, a conservation group reported on Wednesday.

The elephant was one of two more discovered killed on Tuesday in the Bumi Hills area on the shores of Lake Kariba, where elephant poaching is a serious problem, according to the Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit.

Game scouts and police are now looking for the culprits "to punish them properly", the unit said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Elephant poaching has reached worrying proportions in parts of northern and western Zimbabwe.

A survey of elephant numbers carried out last year showed they had declined by 40% in the Zambezi Valley from 2001, and by up to 75% in two key northern national parks - Chizarira and Matusadona.

Matusadona is close to Bumi Hills. In contrast, elephant numbers in Hwange National Park, in north-western Zimbabwe and parts of south-eastern Zimbabwe are increasing.

The latest killings are all the more tragic because they took place just after a key elephant management meeting held in a nearby safari camp, where elephant poaching was discussed.

"These deaths come within three days of the recently completed Sebungwe Elephant Management Action Plan, and one of these elephants was shot within two km of the workshop's venue," the statement said.

"It is indeed not only a wake-up call, but a call to action as well," it added.

Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit says there are 59 carcasses of poached elephants in the area that its scouts patrol.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  poaching  |  southern africa

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