Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Poachers shoot black rhino

Poachers shoot black rhino

Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
POACHERS have shot a black rhino at Matopos National Park in a development that threatens the country’s rhino population.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) said the unidentified poachers allegedly shot the rhino using an AK47 rifle before dehorning it alive.

In a statement yesterday, Zimparks spokesperson Caroline Washaya -Moyo said rangers were forced to kill the rhino after it was discovered that its wounds were causing immense pain to the animal.

She said Zimparks rangers recovered its horns and a calf that was recently weaned.

Washaya Moyo said specialists who examined the animal found that it had several bullet induced wounds on its legs and shoulder.

A broken leg made it impossible for the animal to graze and access water points.

“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority confirms the shooting and wounding of a rhino in Matopos National Park. Because of the seriousness of the wounds the Authority had to put the animal to sleep,” said Washaya Moyo.

“AWARE Trust vets Dr Keith Dutlow and Dr Lisa Marabini who were called in to assist, carried out an X-ray which revealed that the rhino endured unimaginable pain caused by broken legs and open wounds on her legs and shoulder. The rhino had AK bullet heads in three of her legs and a further bullet wound in her right shoulder.”

She said the country’s rhino population, at just over 800, was seriously threatened.

“The current rhino population for both black and white stands at just over 800 and the mandatory sentence for rhino poaching is nine years,” Washaya Moyo said.

The Zimparks spokesperson asked for help in apprehending the poachers in particular and to fight poaching in general.

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