HomeNewsCoventry bemoans rise in pangolin poaching

Coventry bemoans rise in pangolin poaching

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ZIMBABWE’S pangolin ambassador, swimming champion Kirsty Coventry, last week expressed concern over the increase in pangolin poaching activities over the last three years, but commended police and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) officials for their efforts in facilitating the prosecution of poachers.

BY OUR STAFF

In a statement to commemorate World Pangolin Day which was held on Saturday, Coventry said several people had been arrested and prosecuted in connection with poaching the protected species.

“In the last three years, Zimbabwe has seen a marked increase in pangolin poaching and pangolin-related incidents. In 2013, 13 live pangolins were recovered from poachers,” Coventry said.

“We commend the judiciary which convicted nine pangolin poachers and sentenced each of them to nine years in jail in the year 2014 for being in possession of a pangolin.

“In 2015, four cases of pangolin poaching have been recorded, all of which are currently in the courts awaiting sentencing and/or pending a trial.”

Coventry also commended Zimparks rangers and the police for tightening screws on poachers.

The United Nations declared the third Saturday of February each year as World Pangolin Day, with the aim of bringing awareness to the plight of the pangolin, whose survival is under serious threat from poaching and international trafficking.

In 1975, Zimbabwe included the pangolin on the specially-protected animals list under the Parks and Wildlife Act.

The country is in the process of developing a National Pangolin Conservation Strategy.

The pangolin is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Coventry said such a strategy affirmed that Zimbabwe was leading the world in the conservation and preservation of the pangolin species.

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