Zimparks probes Matopos poaching

THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wild Life Management (Zimparks) is still investigating to find out who was responsible for the killing of two rhinos at the Matopos National Park.

LINDA CHINOBVA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The two rhinos, one about 50 years old known as Swazi and another aged 10, were killed last Thursday.

“Poachers killed two white dehorned rhinos in (the) Matopos National Park last week. One of the rhinos was dehorned in February 2008 while the other was dehorned in September 2013,” Caroline Washaya, the Zimparks public relations officer, said.

Washaya said preliminary investigations showed the killings were done at night.

Sources said Zimparks were not sure whether the culprits were a local, regional or an international syndicate, but they suspected it to be a South African syndicate.

Statistics from Zimparks highlight that the country has just 700 black and white rhinos.

According, to Zimparks 13 rhinos were poached this year and their horns hacked off.

Sources said Zimparks commandeered crack rangers from Hwange National Park to the Matopos National Park in a desperate attempt to track down the poachers.

Poaching has become a major menace in Zimbabwe, particularly this year as over 100 elephants were poisoned to death using cyanide in the Hwange National Park.

Several people, including police detectives, have since been arrested and others have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms of up to 16 years.

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