April 17 2002 at 05:44 AM
Harare - More than 50 rhinos have reportedly been snared or killed
by cartels working in cahoots with newly resettled villagers on
farms adjacent to wildlife conservancies, a state daily reported
The Herald quoted Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema
as saying that there had been an unprecedented level of poaching
on some farms over the past few months by people taking advantage
of the country's land reforms.
The animals killed included both black and white rhinos, said the
Nearly Z$100-million (about R20-million) worth of wildlife has
been lost to poaching, illegal movement of wildlife, over-hunting,
subsistence and commercial poaching in ranches and other game areas
recently, according the report.
A recent World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report states that wildlife
in Zimbabwe's conservancies are now severely threatened by illegal
invasions by war veterans and landless villagers.
Last week war veterans issued ultimatums to some white farmers
in Zimbabwe to leave their farms with immediate effect.
Among the affected farms are some private conservancies whose wildlife
has been indiscriminately ravaged by the war veterans.
Zimbabwe has earned more than $2-billion Zimbabwe dollars (about
R403-million) annually from sport hunting in the past four years.