By Shiellah Sibanda
As experts began probing the poisoning of numerous elephants in Hwange National Park, it has emerged that the Zimbabwean government is actually to blame for its active part in the ruthless poisoning of 69 elephants which died in Hwange National Park.
The government has been fingered for its role in inflating elephant figures which has in turn encouraged poachers to kill as many elephants as they can.
According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, elephant figures have been exaggerated by the state.
“This is the disadvantage of overestimating the elephant population in Zimbabwe. The poachers read that Zimbabwe’s elephant population far exceeds its carrying capacity and this encourages them to poach them.”
The ZCTF further added that government is again responsible because they mete out punishment that is not severe enough for the crime. “the punishment meted out to poachers who are caught, is not harsh enough to discourage them from re-offending. They need to be given some extensive jail time.
The statement also read:
“A gang of at least 6 poachers poisoned 64 elephants with cyanide in Hwange National Park. The 6 poachers allegedly placed salt laced with cyanide around the water holes where the elephants drink. The elephants eat the salt and die from the poison. 17 tusks have been recovered by police and the 6 poachers have been arrested.”
It is believed that hundreds of other animals are now at risk as a result of the poisoning the full extent which could not be measured at the time of writing. More....