By Farirai Machivenyika
A zambian [sic\ poacher from was killed, while two others were injured in a gun battle with rangers from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in Hwange National Park last week.
The authority's spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo confirmed the incident yesterday, saying 27 others escaped into Botswana and Zambia after the shoot-out.
"Thirty poachers from Zambia illegally entered Hwange and Zambezi National Parks on two separate occasions last week.
"One of the poachers was killed during an armed contact with parks rangers while two others were injured and captured.
"Eleven others escaped into Botswana and the remainder (13) escaped into Zambia.
"The authorities have since alerted their counterparts in the two countries," she said.
Ms Washaya-Moyo said two rifles, 14 rounds of ammunition, three cell phones, 29 sacks containing clothes and food and four elephant tusks were recovered in the incident.
"The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority are currently working with the ZRP and a total of 62 rangers and 28 ZRP officers have since been deployed in the two areas and investigations are continuing," she said.
Last year close to 100 elephants died in Hwange National Parks after poachers poisoned water sources with cyanide and salt leaks in the country's largest wildlife sanctuary.
An unknown number of other animals that fed on the carcases of the elephants also died.
At least 15 people were arrested in connection with the poisoning.
Those convicted were sentenced to prison terms of up to 15 years.