ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) director-general Edison Chidziya yesterday told Parliament that his department was considering use of drones, helicopters, sniffer dogs and surveillance cameras to sniff out poachers wreaking havoc in most of the country’s game parks.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
“We are working with other law enforcement agencies on regulatory frameworks on use of drones,” he said.
“There are various suppliers of such technology and once the regulatory framework is finalised, we will look at using such technology.”
He said in 2013 a total of 105 wild animals were lost through poisoning in Hwange, while in 2015 about 100 animals were poisoned with 32 lost at one particular site.
“We managed to detect 8 000 incursions in Parks estates since last year and 145 poachers. 45 poachers were accounted for, as well as 29 poaching foreign nationals. We have seen a trend where local involvement in poaching is increasing.”
He said a number of cases were addressed in the courts, but sentences were not deterrent enough at nine to 11 years’ imprisonment.
Chidziya said they were currently operating on 65% of their financial needs and relied mostly on donor support.