4 nabbed over ivory

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FOUR men suspected to be illegal ivory dealers have been arrested after they were found in possession of one tusk weighing about 9kg.

Ruth Ngwenya
Own Correspondent

Police sources said the four claimed they picked the ivory on the street in Mkhosana Township, Victoria Falls, and intended to sell it to an unknown buyer at a local hotel.

Munyaradzi Mananga, Freedom Mandundu, Ignatius Msipha and Francis Simbarashe Nyandoro whose ages range between 22 and 28, ran out of luck when they were intercepted by police, leading to their arrest.

They are being held at Victoria Falls Police Station and are likely to appear in court today.

Suspected poaching has been a cause for concern in Hwange district, with police and parks rangers recovering 37 tusks weighing 680kg and valued at $200 000 following a shootout with suspected Zambian poachers.

More than 100 jumbos were killed through cyanide poisoning in the Hwange National Park since two years ago with a number of villagers being dragged to court.

The country is currently said to have close to 80 000 elephants, with 45 000 fully grown and 30 000 calves.

This has caused concern as elephants cause damage to the environment as they uproot vegetation, especially close to water sources.

Efforts to get a comment from the Matabeleland North police spokesperson were in vain yesterday.