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.
â€œA total of 443 people were arrested in the 211 reported casesâ€, she said. â€œThe culprits included a majority of Zimbabweans, 31 Zambians, seven nationals from Mozambique and a single South African.â€
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.
â€œMozambican poaching groups target Gonarezhou National Park and the Save Valley Conservancy, where they poach elephantsâ€, she said.â€ 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 gangâ€.
â€œThe 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,â€ she added.Post published in: Economy