Zimbabwe game rangers killed one poacher and wounded three others in two separate shootouts during the Christmas holiday, a government spokesperson said Friday.
Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the shootouts occurred earlier this week in Sengwa Wildlife Research Institute Area and Hurungwe Safari Area in western Zimbabwe. Three injured poachers, with the youngest only 16, were captured, while nine others including four from Zambia, escaped.
Washaya-Moyo said the exchanges of fire were initiated by poachers upon encounter with the game rangers. An elephant tusk, two AK 47s, a number of ammunition were among the items recovered.
Poaching has become more rampant in Zimbabwe, home to one of Africa’s main elephant sanctuaries, lately. In the worst poaching cases in decades, poachers used poisonous cyanide to kill more than 100 elephants in Hwange National Park in August, creating an ecological disaster in the area.