Eleven black and white rhinoceroses have been killed over the past few months amid reports poaching of the endangered
species has intensified in the country.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority yesterday disclosed that poaching incidents had increased. It said 11 rhinos had been killed in different parts of the country since January.
Parks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo told NewsDay the latest incident occurred in the Gwayi area last week where poachers killed and dehorned two rhinos believed to have strayed from Hwange National Park.
“It is believed that the rhinos had strayed from Hwange National Park into the Gwayi area where they were shot. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, police and the Criminal Investigation Department’s minerals unit are continuing with investigations,” said Washaya-Moyo.
She said the two rhinos, an 11-year-old mother and a four-month-old calf, were killed on May 22.
Cases of rhino and elephant poaching have been on the rise in Zimbabwe following increased demand of the rhino horn in the Asian market where it is allegedly used for treatment of cancer and various ailments.
A rhino horn is believed to fetch around $65 000 in
Washaya-Moyo said the compensation value of a rhino remains at $120 000 as a measure to stop rhino poaching while the compensation value for an elephant stands at $50 000 up from $20 000.
The compensation figures were according to the 2012 gazetted Statutory Instruments 56 and 57 on illegal hunting of animals and fish as well as payment for trapping of wild animals.
“Parks endeavours to conserve and preserve the country’s wildlife heritage and has come up with a number of strategies to ensure protection of
flagship species,” Washaya-Moyo said.
Only last week, Zimbabwe wildlife authorities recovered 50 elephant tusks, 28 in Binga
near the border with Zambia while 22 were recovered in Victoria Falls.
Neighbouring South Africa has lost 210 rhinos since January with 127 poached from Kruger National Park, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Arrests linked to poaching totalled 128 over the same period with 67 coming from Kruger.