Crocodiles die of hunger at Zimbabwe Tourism authority chef’s farm

BY VIOLET GONDA Johnny Rodriguez a member of the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce has said the death of 12 crocodiles from hunger while another 258 are close to dying, is more evidence that most people who have been given commercial farms do not have any knowledge of farming but are just driven b

y greed.

A shocking report from the Herald newspaper said the reptiles had been without food since November last year at a farm allocated to Karikoga Kaseke, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer.

Malham Farm in Serui near Chegutu was allocated to the ZTA CEO on November 3 last year. According to the state controlled newspaper Kaseke confirmed that he was allocated the farm but said he could not move in without an official offer letter.

The wildlife industry, especially crocodile farming, is lucrative and a big foreign currency earner in Zimbabwe. Each crocodile fetches up to US$1 500 once it reaches slaughtering stage.

The surviving crocodiles have since been rescued by the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They are being fed and treated at Pangula Farm near Chikurubi Maximum Prison. The four-year-old crocodiles, who were being kept in four dry ponds, show signs of serious skin damage after their lengthy exposure to the sun.

Rodriguez said this is a serious problem because people are being given authority and licences for wildlife farming when they have little or no knowledge of it.

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