Matopos project nears completion

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MATOPOS Rhino Protection Initiative Trust (MRIT) has revealed that its project of fencing the Matopos National Parks is almost complete with only 4km left out of the 52km circumference of the park.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Chairman and trustee of the Matopos Rhino Trust, Sharon Stead said the project is almost complete, as they had fenced a distance of about 48km around the park.

“Right now, we – the MRIT – are fighting to protect our rhinos in the Matopos, – remember they belong to all of us because currently the Matopos is the only national park in Zimbabwe with a viable population of white and black rhino,” she said.

“The rhinos feed us.

“They give us jobs and an income and we can do no less, but make sure they have a home alongside us.”

Stead said the reconstruction of a rhino fence around the Wovhi Game Park section is a primary goal in their 10-year plan.

“This fence line is 52km in length with a total cost of $200 000,” she said.

“So far this has been raised through donations from the private sector in Zimbabwe and abroad. 48km of the fence has been installed.”

Stead said fencing in the rhinos was a good idea, as it kept them safe, while it kept other animals like cattle out.

“Just recently, there have been arrests of poachers, thanks to information received from committed members of the community who are beginning to see benefits of protecting the wildlife in the national park,” she said.

“Our partnership with them (Zimparks) is something to be cherished and we aim to keep it growing into the future,” she added.