More elephant carcasses found in Hwange as govt vows poaching ‘crackdown’

More elephant carcasses have been found in the Hwange National Park

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
16 September 2013

More elephant carcasses have been found in the Hwange National Park following the poisoning of water wells by poachers, bringing the number of dead elephants to 69.

Three more poaching suspects were arrested this weekend in an ongoing investigation by police officers and National Parks authorities, launched after 41 elephants carcasses were discovered in the park late last month. The latest arrests bring to nine the number of poachers arrested since the launch of the anti-poaching operation.

Another 28 elephant carcasses were also recovered this weekend. The elephants died after members of a suspected poaching syndicate laced salt with the toxic chemical cyanide and distributed the salt in a drinking pool used by elephants in Hwange.

Government officials have since vowed to crackdown on poaching, following a Ministerial delegation visit to Hwange over the weekend. The new Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Saviour Kasukuwere was flown to the national park along with Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi and Information Minister Jonathan Moyo to assess the situation.

“We will protect elephants alongside all our animals. This is a war we will win,” said Kasukuwere.

Johnny Rodrigues, the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said that current poaching penalties are “very lenient.” He told SW Radio Africa stricter anti-poaching laws are necessary.

“The biggest problem is in the judicial system. The police and national parks don’t work together and when poachers do get arrested they get a slap on the hand and then soon they are back out there doing the same thing. The penalty for what is happening is actually very lenient,” Rodrigues said.

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17 Responsesto “More elephant carcasses found in Hwange as govt vows poaching ‘crackdown’”

  1. Alyssa Barthel says:

    They deserve to be fined more than they can afford to pay and to be jailed for AT LEAST one year!!!

  2. cindy says:

    One year?! For the near destruction of a species?! I think they should drink some cyanide water.

  3. Marisia Chody says:

    Humans are the most inhumane creatures. These people need MAX prison time.

  4. Kim says:

    Dear poachers. You are destroying the few things of reliable income in your countries – animals. Wake up. People are going to spend more, and return to see your wonderful wildlife. No one wants photos of bones.

  5. Isabel says:

    Not even a month ago I saw this beautiful majestic herd of elephants peacefully drinking and bathing with the little ones playing around with the water and sand in the very same pool that has been poisoned… I can’t stop the tears that run down my face sadness is overwhelming!

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