Two elephants killed in Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park
FIVE suspected poachers were last week arrested for killing two elephants in Gonarezhou National Park. Police recovered four tusks, a 303 rifle, axes and knives.
Border Control and Minerals Unit spokesperson Detective Inspector Shelter Rufu, confirmed the arrest of Darlington Tafireyi (22), Albert Bandira (22), Costa Mashumba (22), Clever Sifana (22) and Saudy Bandina (38). Inspector Rufu said the suspects, all from Gokwe, were being held in custody and will be charged for breaching the Parks and Wildlife Act.
She said on May 3 the suspects went to the country's second largest national park and shot two elephants. They allegedly removed the tusks and buried the carcasses. However, they were tracked and apprehended by Parks and Wildlife rangers and officers from the Border Control Unit.
Insp Rufu said the five were expected to appear in court this week. Late last year, 10 elephants were killed and also had their tusks removed at Gonarezhou, which is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Wildlife experts who examined the carcasses concluded that well-oiled international poaching syndicates were behind the decimation of wildlife.
Like the rhino, elephants remain endangered species in Zimbabwe as their horns have a ready and lucrative market in Asian countries and in the Middle East.It is reported that poachers move rhino horns through South Africa to markets in China and Vietnam. The horns are said to be used for cancer treatment in Asian nations.