Zimbabwe begins mass transfer of animals to Mozambique

Harare - The animals won't travel two-by-two, but thousands of safari stalwarts will soon begin their journeys from Zimbabwe to Mozambique in one of Africa's largest ever wildlife transfers.

Fifty elephants, 100 giraffes, 200 zebras and 200 buffaloes will be among the several thousand animals that will be transferred between the two neighbours, Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) told AFP on Thursday.

They will travel 600km on dusty roads from the Save Valley Conservancy to Zimbabwe's eastern neighbour in an effort to replenish animal numbers that were devastated during Mozambique's bloody 15-year civil war.

"Zimbabwe approved the translocation of wildlife from the Sango Ranch in the Save Valley Conservancy to Zinave National Park in Mozambique," said PWMA spokesperson Simukai Nyasha.

Willy Pabst, owner of Zimbabwe's Sango Wildlife Conservancy, said in a statement that he was "proud to support the initiative... with over 6 000 of our animals".

"For us this relocation is the perfect example how conservation in Africa works," he added.

A further 500 animals will be selected from Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park to help repopulate Zinave, the Peace Parks foundation which is coordinating the transfers said in a statement.

"This week saw the start of one of the largest wildlife translocation projects that Africa has ever seen," it said.

Some 7 500 animals from Zimbabwe, South Africa and elsewhere in Mozambique will be moved to help repopulate Zinave over the course of the three-year project.

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