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Matopos project nears completion


FENCING of the Matopos National Park in Matabeleland South by the Matobo Rhino Protection Initiative (MRPI) is nearing completion with 11km of the project left.


More than 30km of the 45 000 hectare Whovi Wilderness area has been fenced in the project estimated to cost $86 000.

“Achievement is visible in the form of how much new fence we have built together. But we still need to finish fundraising for the last 11km or so, especially as World Rhino Day ( September 22) approaches.

Girls’ College Bulawayo are holding a Rocking for Rhinos Concert and there is an awareness walk too that will contribute some funds.

Let us know and let’s finish this stage of the project together,” the MRPI website indicated.

Fencing of the Matopos National Park started in the early 2000s following a spate of rhino poaching cases.

“We also trust in and help the national parks rangers who keep a 24-hour vigil over these animals to enhance their security and protection.

“We value and appreciate everyone’s support and welcome any donations and voluntary assistance people may be willing to contribute.”

The park’s original fence was vandalised resulting in wild animals straying and giving easy access to poachers.

In November 2013, two rhinos were killed and dehorned by poachers who were arrested at the park.

MRPI project manager Paul Hubbard recently said they were using bonnox fence for the national park.

Bonnox fence is a mesh-type fence that is quick and efficient to erect because it is produced in 100m rolls that are self-supporting.

Its height is sufficient to keep rhinos in and most other game while restricting the access of cattle and other livestock into the park. Hubbard said his organisation was committed to assisting the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority in its anti-poaching efforts.

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