Sadly, not even de-horning works. Some will seek out human company. Zimbabwe, 2017. Organized gangs of poachers slaughtered nearly one-quarter of the country’s rhinos between 2007 and 2009, and poaching remains the greatest threat today driven primarily by demand from Asian markets, particularly Vietnam and China. Over the past 23 years, he has seen the wildlife populations of the valley decrease rapidly. “But over the last five years there have been over 300 arrests and 1,500 years of jail time handed down, so this has also been a massive deterrent.”. Normally it would have two, weighing seven kilos or more, but they have been removed in an effort to protect it. Zimbabwe's newly appointed Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told CNN that he would push for stiffer jail penalties to root out poaching in the wildlife-rich African nation. “An elephant is such an intelligent animal so it’s about spending time with them because they can smell you and recognise your voice, but they also know who you are by a vibe from your body and you can just sense each other’s mood. Victory will simply be breeding more than we’re losing and having sustainable numbers to pass to the next generation.” He hopes that the conservancy’s rhino population will reach 200 within two years, enabling it to relocate some animals to other parts of Zimbabwe where the battle is going less well. Another poacher planned to poison a waterhole, but was thwarted by an informer. In the past, Zimbabwe has struggled to stop poaching, even in protected areas and when making exceptions for trophy hunting. Thankfully that has been avoided. It cannot smell us because we are downwind. In Zimbabwe, between January and February, three elephants were killed by poachers, but since the beginning of the lockdown, at least seven elephants have been lost in the Hwange National Park and Bubye Conservancy, according to a CNRG source. Zimbabwe is home to the world’s fourth largest black rhino population after South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. I remember being in Swansea with my grandfather, who played rugby for Wales – a gentleman called Dai Thomas – and he gave me a BBC wildlife magazine from 1971. If they leave the national park and go into hunting areas, we can act on that now. And, as law and order has deteriorated, it’s been a free-for-all for poachers. “You have to virtually catch them in the field red-handed, and even then they often get away with it,” Goosen says. Twenty three elephants have died in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe after being poisoned with cyanide by suspected poachers. “We are proud of what we’ve done and the impact it has had. Elephants are poached for their ivory tusks Coronavirus has hit Zimbabwe’s tourism industry hard and fewer tourists usually leads to an increase in poaching, but the rangers and conservation teams have been working hard to prevent it. The rangers opened fire, killing one and seriously wounding a second. He has spent the past 23 years canoeing the Zambezi River and working in all the wildlife areas of Zimbabwe. Mazhongwe and one other man escaped, but he was arrested near Harare two weeks later and given a record 35-year sentence for multiple offences. Zimbabwe is one of the African countries worst affected by poaching. “It was a dozen and we found another bunch of dead elephants in the next valley. Bryce Clements heads the Savé Valley Conservancy's war on poachers. It has also defeated Zimbabwe’s most notorious rhino-poaching gang. A study published in 2016 estimated up to 40,000 elephants were being killed by poachers – who remove the tusks with an axe – every year. However, between 2007 and 2009, organised gangs of poachers slaughtered nearly a quarter of the country’s rhinos. “China has done a lot recently to try and stop the trade but it’s just driven it further underground. That really brought it home that we needed to up our game. Poisoning is a common method of poaching in Zimbabwe, where poachers can be shot on sight by park rangers. “When you catch a poacher you want to beat him to death with a pick handle and very slowly break his bones, but you have to be professional,” says David Goosen, manager of the 230-square-mile Sango ranch, which forms part of the conservancy. Combined with the devastating decline of the region’s elephant population (approximately 75%) due to ivory poaching, proactive anti-poaching efforts are our primary mandate. A wildlife official in Zimbabwe said today that the amount of animal poaching in the country has increased substantially this year, blaming an international crime syndicate. “It wasn’t just a case of listening out for gun shots and tracking poachers down anymore, you’ve got to be proactive and be there to prevent them getting to the watering holes. Trump Pentagon Nominee Hunted and Killed Two Elephants in Zimbabwe Capt. Clemence’s quasi-military operation consists of 35 highly trained men, all expert trackers, supremely fit and equipped with semi-automatic rifles and radios. The Global Summit Admin 2016-07-05T18:22:07+00:00 September 26th, 2015 | Comments Off on Poaching in Zimbabwe: Poaching the Hidden Costs (local editorial) Share This Story, Choose Your Platform! The 52-year-old said: “In 2008 and 2009 it was really bad. Zimbabwe is home to the world’s fourth largest black rhino population after South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. The SSPU’s success comes down to skill, motivation, organisation and – above all – resources. Two white rhinos were also killed in April, although the poaching incidents were not reported publicly. More than 8,000 elephants have been poached in regions throughout the country over the past 16 years, the BBC notes. That is why private conservancies have 80 per cent of the country’s rhinos but 1.5 per cent of its land, while the parks have 15 per cent of the land but 20 per cent of the rhinos. “Ivory has been sought after by man for thousands of years, but it’s the market in the Far East which drives the poaching,” said Nick. Many of Zimbabwe’s wild animals have suffered a massive decline in population due to poaching. Even that force is insufficient, Clemence says. Zimbabwe arrests over 400 in poaching syndicates crackdown By reporter263 January 10, 2017 No Comments Share Tweet Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr Email + In an unprecedented move, an all-female unit has been created in the north of the country to … Nick studied Zoology at university in South Africa and has guided in many African countries. In 2018, all trade in ivory in China was banned, but the illegal market is still thriving. The poaching gangs are growing more sophisticated. The unit costs $400,000 a year, and is funded mainly by foreign NGOs such as Britain’s Tusk Trust. It cannot see us, for rhinos have poor eyesight. Rhino horn fetches around $60,000 a kilo in China and other east Asian countries, where it is considered an aphrodisiac and a cure for diverse ailments. “If the collar is reading stationary, that triggers an alarm that alerts us to the animal and we can go and investigate, and if he’s been poached we can follow that up.”. Thirty yards away stands a two-ton rhinoceros, a 15-year-old bull. We wait, move on, stop again. Last year about About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features But it senses our presence. “Thankfully, with the hard effort we’ve put in with Zimbabwe national park rangers, we’ve curbed that.”. Image by Martin Fletcher. PHUNDUNDU, Zimbabwe: Chiyevedzo Mutero was one of dozens of women competing in the remote Zimbabwean bush to join the all-female anti-poaching Akashinga rangers when she … ", Voluptuous Nehanda statue delights carnal interwebs; Mnangagwa says statue is ‘just like a rosary’, Zimra continues to provide essential services following the recording of Covid-19 cases at Beitbridge. The two rangers had arrested four Zambian men for poaching and on Dec. 31 were transporting them by boat to Kariba town to be charged and … In February 2015 they shot a six-month-old calf for just 30 grams of horn, Clemence tells me. Botswana has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated at 156,000 and Zimbabwe has the second largest, estimated at 85,000. Poaching, poisoning and anthrax have also been ruled out in those deaths. Akashinga: Zimbabwe's Female Anti-poaching Unit Akashinga is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative to trophy hunting. “The poacher on the ground, who is risking his life, will get around $500. “So, just from that one walk 30 pairs of elephant tusks were recovered and 11 poachers arrested. In 2015 it lost 12, last year three. Nick said poaching had “hammered” the elephant population, and the drop in tourists caused by the coronavirus pandemic was expected to lead to an increase in the illegal practice. In 2013, more than 100 elephants … Your email address will not be published. Poaching, poisoning and anthrax have been ruled out as causes of death. Zimbabwe’s national parks have no such resources. In December 2015 Clemence learned he was planning another attack and put his rangers on alert. “There were vultures all around this amphitheatre at the spring, so you could tell from that how many elephants had been killed there. Sometimes the poachers use AK-47s against rhinos too: in 2014 one was hit 23 times. donate now to support more stories like this! Tavengwa Mazhongwe learned his craft from his older brother, “Big Sam”, who was killed poaching in 2009. And even if caught, their chances of escaping punishment are high. 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