Zimparks, Gurira in anti-poaching campaign

THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has joined hands with popular Hollywood actress, Danai Gurira and the United States-based WildAid in a move aimed at tackling poaching.

BY VANESSA GONYE

Danai Gurira

The campaign is aimed at making people understand the effects of poaching on the economy and the environment.

Speaking during the launch of the campaign, WildAid founder Peter Knights said Zimbabwe had the second largest elephant population in the world and was grappling with massive poaching of one of the country’s Big Five animals.

“We have worked all over the world and realised that in Africa, the populace did not understand about poaching. We are trying to make people aware and embrace our national parks. This helps the economy to grow, as it will also influence an influx in tourism,” he said.

Gurira, who is the face of the campaign for Zimbabwe and attended the launch, said protection of endangered animals should be taken seriously, as the animals were a major boost to the country’s tourism sector.

“Those hotels are not for people to spend the day sleeping. They should be resting places as they visit the country to see the vast animal wealth it has. So poaching must end, we must also embrace our game parks and appreciate what we have,” she said.

Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said the country has had a lot of challenges in the preservation of its animal wealth.

“We have had many setbacks in protecting our animals from poaching. The most important thing was to create awareness; teaching people about the bad effects it (poaching) has to the economy and the environment. That’s when WildAid and Zambezi Society came aboard,” he said.

“We hope this campaign is going to improve the current state of affairs. It is, however, not limited to elephants and rhinos, but all animals, with much attention to the two as they are the main targets of poaching.”

The communications campaign is based on videos and other material, where Gurira speaks against poaching.

Gurira is well known for her roles in The Walking Dead series, Black Panther and Avengers movies.

She rose to fame in 2004 when she starred in a drama series Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

She has become a force to reckon with, producing, directing and starring in many films.

The Hollywood actress has also won many accolades.

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