By Sij Ncube
As the death toll for elephants continue rising in Hwange National Park and the implication of police in the poaching scandal, a leading environment lobby group says the government should urgently set up a commission of inquiry into the cyanide poisoning of animals in the country’s biggest wildlife sanctuary.
Government officials say more than 90 elephants have to date died due to poisoning at the park, the third largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa after Tanzania’s Serengeti and South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
It emerged on Friday that five fresh elephant carcasses were discovered at a Ngamo Safaris property adjacent to the national park.
Officials were preparing to burn the dead elephants amid revelations the figure of poisoned animals has surpassed 100.
Apart from the elephants, an unspecified number of scavengers and predators that fed on the poisoned elephants are dying every day, according to Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management officials.
Several locals have been arrested over the scandal at the park with some of them implicating some police officers.
Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told Radio VOP that the extent of the scandal at Hwange National Park indicated a more sophisticated network of crooks, including top government officials. More....