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Parks still investigating cyanide sources

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ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is still investigating the source of cyanide that was used by poachers to kill hundreds of elephants at the Hwange National Park last year.

Chief Reporter

More than 100 elephants died due to cyanide poisoning by poachers triggering an international outcry from conversation groups. Parks officials said local poachers are now changing method and collaborating with foreigners.

The authority’s spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo said progress is being made on to unmask the source of cyanide.

“We are still on the investigations,” she said.

“Tsholosho villagers are now co-operating by handing over cyanide, but still there are greedy individuals still holding on to it.

“To date about 20kg has been handed over.

“However, villagers are not forthcoming as to who was supplying them with cyanide.”

Washaya-Moyo said the Environment Management Authority (EMA) might provide clues of the source of the cyanide.

“EMA is the body that issues licences for importation for mining houses dealing with cyanide, therefore, the media should prod  EMA to provide list of firms dealing with cyanide and detailed account for on the use of the chemical,” she said.

Villagers recruited as parks informers earn $300 for the supply of information. Last year, police gave villagers living around the park until the end of October to hand over any cyanide they had or risk arrest.

Four poachers have been jailed for at least 15 years each for the crime.

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