$25 000 raised to fight poaching in Victoria Falls

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ANTI-POACHING activities in the Victoria Falls region have received a major boost after nearly $25 000 was raised through fundraising initiatives meant to protect wildlife.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

The money was raised through an annual fundraising golf tournament, held recently in Harare, and was successfully sponsored by 40 donors.

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive, Ross Kennedy said the success of the 2017 Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) Golf Day was a remarkable one given the challenging and difficult economic environment.

“It was the biggest field ever with 41 teams playing, and more than 40 sponsors and donors, reflecting the importance that our society places on conservation and wildlife in Zimbabwe,” he said.

VFAPU head of operations, Charles Brightman said funds raised would go a long way towards covering the unit’s operational costs.
“More wildlife means more visitors, which means more local jobs,” he said.

VFAPU said 17 scouts, who tackle poaching in the Victoria Falls region, had arrested 720 hardened poachers since the unit was established in 1999 by Brightman, who is a professional guide and conservationist.

The unit, which works closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, has also removed more than 22 000 wire snares from its operational area so far, and rescued 200 animals injured by snares.

The tournament recorded a field of 164 players, making up 41 teams, and was won by the Stanbic team, made up of John Maonga, Mike McMullen, William Satade and Kudzanayi Nyoni, who finished on 115 points. Teams All Blacks and Zipington tied on 111 points to claim joint second place.

Other teams included the Zimbabwe Special Olympics golfers, sponsored by Bronte Hotel, while the Pink Leopards, wearing pink leopard print dresses, took home the Best Dressed Ladies’ Team, and Toyota Zimbabwe won Best Dressed Men’s Team.