The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) ambushed 12 suspected poachers from Zambia and recovered almost $50 000 worth of elephant tusks in a recent operation in Katombora, Zambezi National Parks’ Mdhaka area.
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ZimParks public relations manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the success of the operation was achieved through regional collaborations with rangers from neighbouring countries.
“However the suspects, believed to be Zambian nationals, fled leaving behind the 29 tusks which weighed 297,3kg and valued at $47 468, a giraffe tail, digital scale and some food items,” she said in a statement.
Investigations were in progress including another case in which two rhinos, one female and a calf, were poached in Save Valley Conservancy. Both had all their horns removed.
Recently, two poachers were shot and killed by ZimParks rangers during an armed contact in the Kapungashiri area on the southern boundary of Matusadonha National Park.
Rangers who were on patrol in the area were alerted by two heavy calibre gunshots which led them to three poachers who opened fire.
During the shootout two of the poachers were killed while the third one escaped unhurt.
Poaching remains a threat in the country’s vast game parks as long as there is a ready market for ivory and
rhino horn. Stakeholders have called for stiffer penalties to deter poachers.