Thursday, November 22, 2012

BDF arrests two Batswana, four Zimbabweans for poaching at Chobe National Park

Members of a Botswana Defence Force anti-poaching unit shot and injured a Motswana man in the Chobe National Park three weeks ago. The man was allegedly shot and wounded as he and four others attempted to flee after being spotted by the army unit in the park that hosts Africa's largest population of elephants in both size and concentration. The game patrol unit of the BDF was trekking down poachers who had killed an elephant hours earlier when they spotted the six-men party in the wild. When they were finally arrested, the men were allegedly found with rifles and elephant tusks. The shooting and wounding of the Motswana man happened in the same week that President Ian Khama announced an unprecedented anti-poaching measure of putting a freeze on hunting in 2014. Addressing a Kgotla meeting at Sankoyo Village on October 25, Khama said six poachers had been arrested in the Chobe National Park the previous day. "Two of them are Batswana from Satau and Mabele, while four of the men are from Zimbabwe," Khama said. In the wake of the incident, allegations have surfaced that members of the army anti-poaching unit are under instructions to shoot poachers on sight. The soldiers allegedly remove their identification tags when they go on patrol in the wild. Mmegi was still waiting for a response to these allegations from the army's public relations office at the time of going to press. Source: Mmegi (BW)

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