Two Rhinos Killed in Gwayi Conservancy

Two rhinos, a mother and a four month old calf were on Saturday last week killed by poachers in Gwayi conservancy in Matabeleland North.

Confirming the incident to the Zimbabwean, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Public Relations manager, Caroline Washaya Moyo said the rhinos were suspected to have strayed out of Hwange National Park into the Gwayi area where they were shot by poachers.

“The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Police and CID Minerals are continuing with investigations. The compensation value for a rhino currently stands at US$120 000, 00” she said. Washaya Moyo said this year alone, 23 rhinos have been killed by poachers.

“We have just above 700 both black and white rhinos and 23 have been poached this year. As protection measures, naturally when resources are deliberately directed towards anti-poaching of flagship animals then automatically the rest of wildlife is also protected. A rhino workshop was held in March to formulate the 2011-2016 rhino management strategies. A draft strategy document is being finalized,” she said.

The Parks public relations manager said this year, a total of 100 rhinos were immobilized for ear notching and horn implanting to facilitate individual identification and monitoring in the field and dehorned to create disinterest to poachers.

Conservationists in Gwayi have blamed the influx of Chinese mining firms in the area for the upsurge in poaching activities. The area is a buffer zone for the Hwange National Park.

Chinese mining firms have sprouted in the wildlife area, extracting coal and prospecting for other minerals.

“The coincident of these Chinese mines and the poaching of the two rhinos is suspicious. Since blacks were allocated conservancies in Gwayi, we have never lost any single rhino to poachers,” said a wildlife conservationist in the area who refused to be named.

Post published in: Environment

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