After contingents from the government comprising a number of ministers paid numerous visits to Hwange National Park, following the discovery there of elephant carcasses that died from cyanide poisoning, it was widely thought such a level of involvement was what was needed to put an end to the gruesome killings.
But as days go by, and more elephants and predatory animals continue to die, it would seem that either not enough effort is being put towards actually stopping the brutal killings, or those tasked with attending to the problem are sleeping on the job.
An elephant death toll that initially stood at around 40 when the infiltration by poachers of Hwange National Park became public knowledge, now stands at a staggering 103, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, as an additional 11 elephant carcasses were reportedly discovered last week.
Their tusks were brutally plucked out after being killed in the very same manner — by poisoning their water holes and salt licks with cyanide, a highly lethal chemical whose consumption results in an assured instant death. Two more salt licks are reported to have been poisoned, in addition to the previously reported 35.
The last killings had prompted numerous visits to the crime scene by a number of ministers, among them the Environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Information minister Jonathan Moyo, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Agriculture minister Joseph Made, Health minister David Parirenyatwa and Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa.
How do poachers keep managing to kill?
As the Hwange National Park elephant killings story continues to make headlines, it has gained the publicity many felt was needed to scare the poachers enough for them to stop. But, almost a month after the last reported killing, the poachers have killed again! This is in spite of the fact that three of those that had allegedly been involved in the initial killings were arrested and now face as many as 16 years behind bars. More....