Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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13 jumbos die in ‘cyanide poisoning’

13 jumbos die in ‘cyanide poisoning’

Elephants

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THIRTEEN elephants were found dead in a bush between Fuller Forest and Chikandakubi area outside Victoria Falls town on Wednesday in yet another suspected case of cyanide poisoning.

A villager from Chikandakubi reportedly bumped onto the 13 carcasses near Ngwengwe Springs as he was herding cattle on Wednesday.

The Chronicle was told that four of the elephants had been dehorned while rangers recovered ivory from the other nine.

All carcasses were bulging and almost bursting, raising fears of cyanide poisoning which is suspected to have been administered by poachers at a nearby salt lick, a source said.

“The elephants comprised nine males and four females, nine of which were adults and the other four were sub adults.

The carcasses were discovered by a villager who was rounding up his cattle and he alerted police and rangers,” said a source.

The source said rangers from Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and police officers attended the scene on Thursday.

Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo could not be reached for comment.

Between January and June 2017, a total of 14 elephants were lost due to poaching activities with two more incidents being recorded in the Hwange National Park two months ago.

However, Zimparks authorities have said collaborative efforts with other Government agencies have led to a downward trend in poaching incidents compared to last year.

Anti-poaching teams have lately been deployed to deal with the emerging poaching cases as the wildlife authority works tirelessly to fight the vice.

During the recently held third Defence and Security Chief Meeting hosted by Zimbabwe, member countries were challenged to domesticate the Sadc law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy.

An elephant costs about $50 000. — @ncubeleon

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