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SOS Rhino : In the News : Three armed poachers shot dead

Three armed poachers shot dead


Herald Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, 6 June 2003

GAME scouts shot and killed three armed poachers in the intensive protection zone of Sinamatella, Hwange, on Wednesday.

National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe acting chief warden Mr Lovemore Mungoshi said the poachers were hunting for rhinoceros, which they kill for their horns.

He said the authority has lost 12 rhinos in the area and has had to review its operational tactics.

" On Wednesday at 1000 hours, one of our patrols had a contact with armed poachers in the Bambossie area of Sinamatella and they killed three poachers without suffering any casualties," Mr Mungoshi said.

" At the time of contact the patrols had been tracking the poachers for about 24 hours following the discovery of the poachers’ spoor. When the spoor was picked up, the poachers were tracking rhino and because it did not rain and wash away the poachers spoor, our patrol were able to continue tracking, resulting in the contact."

After the contact, he said, eight elephant tusks, an AK rifle with a folding butt, 75 live AK rounds and an empty AK magazine, two elephant tails and cooking utensils were recovered.

" The police have been to the scene of the incident to collect the bodies of the deceased poachers, who are yet to be positively identified.

" I would like to take this opportunity to warn all poachers and their collaborators that they stand to lose their lives if they go poaching in any of our intensive protection zones," said Mr Mungoshi.

He said he suspected that the poachers might be Zambian citizens.

" The clothes that they were wearing, especially the shoes, were made by Bata Zambia," he said.

In March this year, three poachers were shot and killed while two others were arrested after they tried to flee from members of the anti-poaching task force at Mafanzou in Kariba.

The poachers were hunting for elephant tusks.

They were found in possession of elephant tusks and animal skins.

National Parks formed a task force with the police support unit and the army’s commando troops to provide reinforcements in anti-poaching activities in the affected areas.

Animals such as elephants and the rhinoceros remain an endangered species due to poaching by both locals and foreigners.

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