Of the 443 suspects, 57 were convicted and sentenced to a minimum jail term of seven years. According to Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), 211 cases were investigated over the year, and 116 of these cases were concluded.
“A total of 443 people were arrested in the 211 reported cases”, she said. “The culprits included a majority of Zimbabweans, 31 Zambians, seven nationals from Mozambique and a single South African.”
ZimParks made significant recoveries following the arrests, which included 76 elephant tusks, 179 pieces of ivory, 36 live pangolins, 8 pangolin trophies and 22 firearms.
Washaya-Moyo said ZimParks is concerned about the growing trend of international poaching syndicates working together with local people who live close to the national parks and other wildlife sanctuaries.
“Mozambican poaching groups target Gonarezhou National Park and the Save Valley Conservancy, where they poach elephants”, she said.” It has now emerged that most of the poaching taking place inland is being perpetrated by syndicate members of different groups, who are hired to form one larger organised gang”.
“The introduction of modern anti-poaching strategies, such as the use of drones, sniffer and tracker dogs, shall go a long way in combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade in our protected areas and at our border points,” she added.Post published in: Economy