By Chipo Masara
While the authorities currently seem to be doing their best to contain the situation at Hwange National Park, where over 90 elephants were massacred by poachers, with the number likely to rise, people still have so many questions that need some answers.
However, there is need to mention that from the look of things, the Government of Zimbabwe is not taking lightly the ruthless and senseless killing of elephants at the country’s biggest game reserve, which also resulted in the death of other animals, especially meat-eating ones.
In one of many recent visits by officials to the crime scene, a total of seven ministers (Environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Health minister David Parirenyatwa, Agriculture minister Joseph Made, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Information minister Jonathan Moyo and Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa) on September 29 took a trip to Hwange National Park.
The purpose of the trip was to ascertain the damage and craft the way forward, in a bid to stop the continuance of similar incidences.
According to figures supplied by officials from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) during the visit, besides the elephants that died, the cyanide poison had also led to the death of two buffaloes, one giraffe, one kudu, one lion, two painted dogs and many vultures, by Sunday last week.
It was agreed the carcasses of the dead animals would be burnt while Ferrous Phosphate, an iron salt of phosphoric acid, would be used in decontaminating the poisoned water and soil.
The poachers spread cyanide over salt pans, also known as salt licks (salt deposits that animals regularly lick) around water holes. There are currently a total of 35 salt licks that are known to have been poisoned. More....