Story by Regis Mhako, Mashonaland West Bureau Chief
Efforts to stem poaching activities in the Ume and Mackenzie conservancies in Nyaminyami Kariba is proving effective as no elephant was killed last year, while 15 guns were recovered.
The two conservancies have a hybrid of animals including the most sought after elephant which has so far managed to survive the illegal hunt by poachers thanks to intensive surveillance by rangers.
15 guns were however recovered from poachers last year alone from these two conservancies.
Carbon Green Africa head of anti-poaching unit Mr Charles Khumalo said the battle is however not only against armed poachers, but also against those who use snares to trap smaller animals for domestic consumption.
“We operate in two conservancies with 47 rangers. We are happy that no elephant was killed by poachers last year in the two territories, but we recovered 15 guns and arrested 30 poachers last year. This year we arrested 4,” said Mr Khumalo.
Meanwhile, the issue of human wildlife conflict took center stage at Chief Mola’s homestead with the traditional leader and his village heads calling on authorities to swiftly take action.
Chief Mola said, ” We are losing a lot of livestock to lions while our fields are being destroyed by elephants. We like the animals because we benefit through campfire programmes, but action should be taken against problem ones.”
“I have lost 4 beasts to lions and I am thinking of selling the remaining 8. I would better have money in my pocket than lose the beasts,” a village head told the ZBC News.
Another noted, “There are three lions that we spot every day. The fourth one is lactating so it’s not coming here these days. They are collared, meaning they belong to a known conservancy. So, I don’t know why the safari operators are not coming to deal with them.”
Conflicts between humans and animals have haunted the rural parts of Kariba with many encounters resulting in the loss of lives.