The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has expressed concern at the growing scam in which poachers are killing wild animals, especially elephants, using toxic substances, among them Carbofuran, to satisfy the demand for Ivory from primarily, the Chinese consumers.
ZAWA is therefore discouraging communities in wildlife areas from eating meat from animals they find dead.
ZAWA Communications and Public Relations Officer Readith Muliyunda said in a statement in Lusaka, that there had been an increase in the number of poachers who were using toxic substances to kill elephants for Ivory and the value of the elephants suspected to have been lost under such circumstances now stood at K350,000.
Ms Muliyunda said that ZAWA was working with the Security, Law enforcement and drug regulatory agencies to ensure that all those trading in or handling toxic chemicals were registered and monitored in order to curb the rising challenge of poachers who had resorted to
the use of toxic substances to kill Elephants for Ivory.
“This year alone, about 500 animals and birds have died from suspected poisoning, with the highest number being from the North Luangwa Ecosystem where the total number of poached elephants now stands at 49, for 2013, not forgetting 300 vultures that were found at the
Elephant carcasses. This is the highest figure recorded in over 20 years,” Ms Muliyunda said.
She said that in the North Luangwa National Park, ZAWA officers had since arrested a 34 year old man in connection with the incident which took place in October this year, in which four elephants, vultures and three eagles were poisoned.
“The named suspect who is remanded at Mpika Police has been found with three more bags of Carbofuran, a toxic chemical that was detected in the samples of the dead animals. The samples were examined by the Food and Drugs Control laboratory under the Ministry of Health. He was also found with 19×375 rifle ammunitions and four shotgun ammunitions,” Ms Muliyunda said.
In addition, three Elephants were poisoned in Chiawa Game Management Area (GMA) and fifty baboons in West Petauke. More....