HomeNewsRangers, cops shoot dead 2 poachers

Rangers, cops shoot dead 2 poachers

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POLICE and rangers from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) reportedly shot and killed two suspected elephant poachers following a heavy gunfire exchange at Hwange National Park on Tuesday.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

ZimParks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo confirmed the incident, which she said occurred at the Main Camp.

“According to the particulars of one of the poachers, it was concluded that he is from Nkayi, while the other could not be immediately identified because he had no identification particulars on him,” she said.

Washaya-Moyo said after the shootout, they recovered an assortment of equipment from the scene.

These include a .450 rifle and live ammunition.

Local animal rights lobby group, Bhejane Trust, also confirmed the incident and hailed ZimParks rangers for their vigilance despite working under difficult conditions.

“Hats off to the rangers operating under these extremely tough conditions, where it is raining every day, and the bush is thick,” Bhejane Trust said.

Police in Matabeleland North province refused to comment on the reports and referred questions to their headquarters in Harare. National police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not be contacted for comment, as she was said to be attending marathon meetings .

ZimParks early this week revealed that poaching cases were on the increase, with 443 poachers arrested last year.

In Matabeleland North, conservationists say there is a worrying number of Zambian poachers targeting some of the country’s national parks, where they kill elephants for ivory.

Chinese syndicates based in the neighbouring country have been blamed for the cross-border crimes.

Ivory has a ready market in Asian countries particularly China, where it is used for traditional medicine.

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