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SOS Rhino : In the News : Zimbabwe poachers ‘kill 9 black rhinos’

Zimbabwe poachers ‘kill 9 black rhinos’

  Aug 7, 2006, 9:09 GMT
Monsters and, UK

Harare - Poachers have killed at least nine rare black rhinos in a conservation area in central Zimbabwe, the state- controlled Herald reported Monday.

'We have lost at least nine black rhinos from Midlands Conservancy,' said Geoffrey Matipano, a spokesman from the state-run Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Poaching is said to be on the increase in cash-strapped Zimbabwe where wildlife officials battle with ever-dwindling resources that stop them from effectively safeguarding rare game.

The black rhino is particularly sought after by poachers because some of its body parts can be sold to Asia and the Middle East for use in traditional medicines.

The government needs more resources, especially aircraft, if it is to fight the poachers effectively, said the head of the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Edward Mbewe.

'The tracking part also calls for specific equipment that we do not have in some of our protected zones. Enhancement can also be achieved if we manage to hire aircraft for effective monitoring,' Mbewe was quoted as saying.

'This system is not yet working in some rhino havens and monitoring of the species becomes a major challenge because we will only be relying on foot patrols,' he added.

Several black rhinos were killed on a farm in western Zimbabwe last year. The farm had been seized under the government's controversial land reform programme.

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