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Matopo Park fencing at advanced stage


MATOBO Rhino Initiative Trust (MRIT), a rhino protection organisation, has revealed that it has covered 37 kilometres out of the 52km needing to be fenced at Matopos National Park.


The organisation, which has been working on fencing the national park since 2012, said that towards the end of last year, it received a $150 000 donation from the private sector meant for the fencing project.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 conservation calendar, MRIT project manager Paul Hubbard thanked stakeholders for supporting the project.

He said rhinos are perhaps the cornerstone of the tourist industry in the Matopos and tracking them on foot was one of the highlights of any visit to Zimbabwe. Hubbard said rhinos fed people and gave them jobs and they deserved to be protected.

“We can do no less, but make sure they have a home alongside us,” he said.

“The re-construction of a rhino Fence around the Whovi Game Park section was designated as a primary goal.”

Hubbard said the Whovi Game Park, which they have so far fenced, represents about one quarter of the national park and was designated as an Intensive protection zone. He said the single biggest problem to rhino security was containment.

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

“So far $150 000 has been raised through donations from the private sector in Zimbabwe and abroad and 37 kilometres of fence installed.”

The MRIT was established in December 2012, with the aim of facilitating projects in the Rhodes Matopos National Park to assist with linking wildlife conservation and community development in the area.

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