Zimbabwe:Further to our last report, the number of elephants poisoned by cyanide in Hwange National Park continues to rise daily. Around 100 carcasses have now been found. 3 of the 8 poachers have been sentenced.
Robert Maphosa (42) has been sentenced to 15 years in prison with labour.
Thabani Zondo (24) was also sentenced to 15 years and was also asked to pay USD600 000 to National Parks by December this year.
Deanie Tsuma (25) was sentenced to 15 years and asked to pay USD200 000 to National Parks by December this year.
National Parks and Wildlife Authority believe these sentences will be a deterrent to would be poachers.
The most frightening part of this is that although all the water holes have not yet been tested for cyanide, we do know that at least 2 are contaminated. This means that any animal that drinks from these water holes will die and any carnivors that feed on the carcasses will also die. We are expecting the death toll to keep rising and we will keep everyone informed as we receive the information.
RABIES IN BUHERA
We have received a report that a rabid hyena in Buhera has bitten 5 people who are now being treated for rabies. The game fences have all been removed and the plains game are escaping. Thus, the carnivors are having trouble finding food and appear to now be attacking humans. Apparently, the local people have now laid poison down to try and kill the rabid animals. This is a big concern because children and domestic animals are also at risk of being poisoned.
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force