At least 2 dead rhino found dehorned, buried at Zim govt minister's farm – report

2017-06-23 11:34


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Harare - Two dead rhino have been found at the farm of a Zimbabwe government minister, reports said Friday.

The two black rhino carcasses were found buried with their horns missing at the 5 000 hectare Savuli Ranch, leased by Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa, reports the state-controlled Herald.

The ranch is one of several privately-owned game farms in the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC), home to the Big Five including endangered rhino.

"The first carcass found at the end of April was buried underground and we suspect this was done to conceal it from being seen by people," Simukai Nyasha, spokesperson for the state national parks and wildlife management authority (Zimparks) told the paper.

"Early June this year another carcass of a sub-adult male rhino was also discovered by Zimparks rangers on patrol at SVC’s Savuli Ranch and a bullet head was found at the scene," he added.

'I'm shocked': Mahofa

Mahofa told the paper she was shocked by news of the discovery but claimed it was the work of her white neighbours who resented her presence within the conservancy.

"I suspect that my neighbouring white conservancy operators might be behind this heinous killing of the rhinos to tarnish my name," she said.

Mahofa was allocated her ranch under the government’s wildlife-based land reform programme. Several other high-ranking ruling party officials were allocated properties in the conservancy, but the allocations were later reversed on the basis they already owned farms elsewhere.

In 2012, the private NewsDay reported that Mahofa was under investigation by Zimparks for poaching.

That was after three buffalo carcasses and other plains game meat was allegedly found at her butchery in the southern town of Gutu.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals  |  rhino poaching

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