BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
THE award-winning Matetsi Private Game Reserve in Victoria Falls has established an in-house anti-poaching unit in an effort to combat poaching in the resort.
“The formation of this in-house anti-poaching unit is essential in realising our long-term conservation goals. These include reintroduction of wildlife species within Matetsi Private Game Reserve, for example, waterbuck in the near future. Hopefully the rhino can also be introduced down the line as well as the on-going preservation of flora and fauna species,” Matetsi Victoria Falls co-founder Sara Gardiner said.
“With the commitment of our family-owners, we are proud to have been able to take the next step in this journey. We have brought in passionate Zimbabwean conservationist, Brian Gurney to set up and lead our conversation and security team.”
Last week, Matetsi Victoria Falls-Luxury Safari lodge was named Africa’s best lodge by the 2021 edition of the Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards.
Trained under the guidance of Gurney, a group of 16 scouts drawn from across the country that includes one female Sinqobile Elshadai Sibanda graduated last week.
Gardiner said over the last six years, they had seen life return to Matetsi Private Game Reserve, a 136 000-acre wilderness that had been devastated by poaching and illegal hunting.
Although focused primarily on protecting the vast wilderness, the Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Gardiner said the anti-poaching unit had also been trained as personal security.
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Speaking to Southern Eye soon after graduation, Sibanda said it took courage and determination to participate the course.
“I am a person of free spirit who bravely committed to be part of Matetsi Private Game Reserve scout team with the commitment to fight poaching,” she said.
“Nothing worth pursuing in a career comes easy, so if you are courageous enough, just go for everything that you wish to pursue in life. I just thought I could do it and I decided to go for it. I had no problem blending with the boys. I am proud and strong. I perfectly fit in with the boys.”