7 elephants lost through cyanide poisoning in Sinamatella

There appears to be very strong attempts by Wilderness Africa Trust to remove all the animals in the Nyagande Campfire Communiity Conservation Project which incorporates the Sunungukai Community Lodges. This project is situated on the banks of the Mazowe River, 150kms from Harare in the Uzumba and Maramba Communual Areas in the Murewa District.

elephant-baby550An attempt was made by Game Management Africa to capture the animals, consisting of Giraffe, Eland, Zebra, Wildebeeste, Impala and Bushbuck, earlier on in June this year but the attempt was thwarted by very strong and determined opposition from the local people who wanted their project to continue. In particular the youth in the area were very
enthusiastic about the project and were looking forward to employment opportunities.

By having wildlife and tourism in the area there was also an opportunity to construct an Academy of Wildlife and Tourism to cater for Secondary School scholars and possibly higher education in the future.

It is believed that the Ambuya Foundation which supports the Wilderness Africa Trust is interested in building a secondary school on the site and  this is to be encouraged in accordance with the original plan of providing a corridor for the wildlife. It would now appear that the major donor, a British subject is now insisting that the animals be removed before the Secondary School can be built. The animals have been there for more that 5 years and were brought in at great expense.

Through the Ambuya Foundation and Wilderness Africa Trust, has previously spent a fortune on this project. Money donated by the Ambuya Foundation is bolstered by Gift Aid, a 25% add on from the British Government (i.e. British Taxpayers) for any charitable expense claimed through the Charities Commission. It would appear that a lot of this money is now being wasted and the local communities are disappointed at the same time.

The timing of this translocation now is questionable due to the prevailing heat at this time of year, the females, in all probability being pregnant and the condition of the animals needs to be bolstered by supplementary feeding before translocation should take place. It is also believed that Bushbuck which always existed in the area and came into the fenced area on their own, will also be captured and removed.

Wilderness Africa Trust is also embroiled in the forced take over of Hippo Pools and the eviction of Iain Jarvis, the founder of the trust and long term owner and occupier of Hippo Pools. Legal proceedings are still ongoing to seek justice in this dispute.

In the last 2 weeks we have lost 7 elephants in the Sinamatella area through cyanide poisoning and no arrests have been made and so the saga continues. Another 2 elephants have been found dead in the Tsholotsho area due to poisoning as well and no poachers have been arrested yet as the investigations are still ongoing. These poisonings should have been stopped a long time ago but, continue regardless of all the publicity…

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