By Farai Sevenzo
Our world has become a more dangerous one for man and beast alike, with murder and murderers dominating recent news.
I was struck these past few days by the callous murder of some 80 elephants in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.
Poachers, it has been reported, poured cyanide into the drinking and salting wells frequented by some of Zimbabwe's 80,000 elephants with the sole aim of killing them and removing their ivory tusks for sale to buyers in Asia.
The National Parks say a thorough search of the surrounding villages has already yielded 19 tusks together with cyanide poison and the authorities have made arrests.
Across the continent, poachers have been killing elephants in greater and larger numbers - a family of 11 was slain in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park back in January, and, according to The International Fund for Animal Welfare, some 400 elephants were slaughtered in the first three months of 2012 in Cameroon's Bouba Ndjida National Park.
While over in Gabon, a country whose green credentials are the envy of many, 11,000 forest elephants are said to have been killed by poachers from 2004 to 2013 because they were after the pink-tinged ivory of Gabon's forest elephants which is said to fetch high prizes and much in demand by jewellers and their customers in Asia.
'Unbelievable damage' A pattern seems to be emerging here where Africa's close encounter with new economic giants like China has meant all resources are on the negotiating table; but ivory, long protected by international law, can only be obtained by the illegal poaching of Africa's most majestic beasts. More....