Poaching rife on grabbed land

The renewed land grab campaign by the embattled Zanu (PF) regime is being used as a cover to kill some of the nation's rarest species, wildlife reserve wardens and environmentalists said this week.
"The occupation of hundreds of farms and ranches and the fact that the police are doing

little to uphold the law in the last months have led to an alarming increase in poaching,” an official running a conservancy in the Save Valley, in south eastern Zimbabwe told The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview.
He said he was still in shock after discovering a black rhinoceros caught in a snare last week, leaving the rare animal seriously injured. Threatened black rhinos were brought there in a bid to preserve and boost the numbers of the species. But on Mukwasi ranch, one of the many that make up the Save preserve, 700 snares were discovered in one month and 45 animals were found dead or seriously injured. Mukwasi is one of the 1,600 farms that have been invaded by so-called war vets.
The police have failed to stop the violence and at times have condoned it. Africa’s black rhinos are among the most endangered large mammals on earth. Only 700 roam Zimbabwe’s parks and reserves.
The CFU, which represents farmers on Zimbabwe’s remaining 600 white-owned farms, reports that animals are killed almost every day on the occupied farms.

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