Conservationist found axed to death in Zimbabwe

2015-04-09 13:45

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - A conservationist working with endangered painted dogs near Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park has been found battered to death in his cottage, friends said on Thursday.

Gregory Gibbard, an Australian who had worked for some time as an administrator for Painted Dog Conservation, was axed to death on Tuesday night, a friend told News24.

"He was hit twice in the head apparently, with what sounds to have been an axe," the friend, who asked not to be identified, said in a telephone interview.

"It is assumed that the motive was robbery but this kind of attack is excessively unusual in Zimbabwe," he added.

Gibbard's cottage is located near Hwange airport, just outside Hwange National Park, which is in the west of Zimbabwe.

Police are understood to be investigating but there are no reports of arrests so far.

Painted Dog Conservation said in a brief statement: "It comes with great sadness that we need to inform you that one of our founding PDC Inc members and friend Greg Gibbard... was tragically murdered on Tuesday night at the project headquarters."


Friends took to Facebook to express their shock at Gibbard's murder.

"Goodbye my dear friend. So sorry. Wish we had a chance to have spoken one more time," said Colin Yapp.

Sharon Stead wrote: "Absolutely tragic - his death has rocked the Hwange community."

Painted dogs are also known as African wild dogs. They are among the continent's most endangered wildlife species.

In its February newsletter Painted Dog Conservation spoke movingly of the links forged between the NGO and the local community, whose head was only identified as Chief Nelukoba. Fifty members of the community have recently volunteered to be part of anti-poaching and anti-snaring patrols, the newsletter said.

"Painted Dog Conservation has been operating there for a long time," Gibbard's friend confirmed on Thursday.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.