Saturday, March 30, 2013

Zim elephant poachers in court

TWO suspected elephant poachers arrested in Tsholotsho last week, leading to the recovery of 224kg of elephants tusks valued at $56 000, appeared at the Hwange Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Busani Moyo (36) of Bhule 2 village, Chief Magama in Tsholotsho and Cornelius Mudimba (35) of Kariangwe village, Chief Siansole, Binga, were charged with contravening Section 128 (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act as read with Statutory Instrument 362 of 1990 (poaching) when they appeared before Hwange magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa. They were both remanded in custody to today for bail ruling. Bulawayo lawyer Tonderai Mukuku made the bail application on their behalf. It is the State case that police in Tsholotsho received information that Moyo and Mudimba were allegedly dealing in ivory and teamed up with detectives from Lupane and raided Moyo’s homestead. The police searched the homestead leading to the recovery of 27 elephant tusks and five pieces of ivory. Police arrested Mudimba while Moyo fled under the cover of darkness. However, Moyo was arrested two days later after the police had used his brother to phone him and lure him to come home under the pretext that police wanted to negotiate the case with him. When he eventually came, police immediately arrested him. Source: Newsday

Zimbabwe gazettes 11-year maximum sentence for poachers

The Zimbabwean government has enacted new laws imposing stiffer penalties of up to 11 years for poaching protected animals, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has said. ZPWMA public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the new laws would affect criminals who kill any protected animals gazetted by the Ministry Environment and Natural Resources Management. "Any person who is convicted for unlawful killing of a rhinoceros or elephant is expected to be sentenced to nine years for a first offender or eleven years for a second or subsequent offender," she said. The new penalties are contained in the General Laws Amendment Act of 2011, amending the Parks and Wildlife Act. Ms Washaya-Moyo said the new laws would help curb rampant poaching of rhinos and elephants. Zimbabweans are known to target rhinos and elephants for markets in Far East countries fronted by wealthy international criminal syndicates. Financial challenges have crippled ZPWMA efforts to curtail poaching. Zimbabwe is currently stuck with over 50 tonnes of ivory which the country has been prohibited to sell under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It had been hoped that permission to sell the ivory stockpile worth over US$10 million would boost capacity of the authority to fund its conservation activities. CITES, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand last week noted that reliable techniques on wildlife trade tracking and forensic methods were needed to combat organised wildlife crimes, together with stronger punishments. New Ziana

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SA donates six white rhinos to Botswana

This ad zapped. South African travel company and Beyond's Phinda private game reserve in KwaZulu- Natal is involved in a groundbreaking deal to translocate six white rhino to Botswana's Okavango Delta. It has been reported as the first private game reserve donation of rhino to another country. The translocation began in February following years of negotiation and planning. It is still under way. "The Okavango Delta has proven to be a successful rhino relocation habitat and Botswana has a strong security and monitoring framework in place whereby the military helps to protect the species," andBeyond said in a statement at the start of the translocation process on 8 February. Game scouts from Botswana received tracking and monitoring training from Phinda to assist with the move."The movement and behaviour of the six rhino will be closely monitored using satellite collars and telemetry and tracking equipment," the company said. It forms part of andBeyond's rhino protection efforts, which fall under its Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People vision. The translocation was facilitated in partnership with conservation organisation Rhino Force and funded by insurance administrator Motorite Administrators. It follows in the wake of a 49% increase in illegal poaching in 2012, when 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa. "Botswana has an excellent security system in place to protect these endangered animals and will be a safe haven for the six relocated rhino," said andBeyond CEO, Joss Kent. "Translocations are fundamental to secure the ongoing survival of endangered species and this groundbreaking project led by andBeyond's conservation team aims to increase Africa's dwindling rhino populations for future generations to enjoy." The project has the support of the Botswana Rhino Management Committee, as well as assistance from the Eastern Cape's Chipembere Rhino Foundation for telemetry and tracking equipment being used by the game scouts. Source: Online

Nine Zimbabweans, Mozambicans arrested for rhino poaching in SA

Maputo — The South African police on Sunday arrested nine Mozambicans and Zimbabweans suspected of rhino poaching at a game farm in Lephalale, in the northern province of Limpopo. According to police spokesman Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi, cited on the “Times Live” South African website, the poachers were arrested while they were setting a fire inside the game park “to lure the animals to a spot where they would then kill the rhinos and dehorn them." The brigadier said the same gang was linked to a case in the same area where a rhino calf was killed two months ago. "The same modus operandi of burning a field was used to kill and dehorn the calf”, he said. Police confiscated a camera that was used to take pictures of the game farm, the rhinos and the movement of the owners. A grinder, a generator and two vehicles were also confiscated. The police did not say how many of the group were Mozambicans, and how many were Zimbabweans. Mulaudzi did not yet have the names of any of the poachers. In a separate case, two Mozambicans, named as Steve Mbombi and Roy Baloyi, appeared on Friday in the Lephalale Magistrate's Court to face charges related to poaching, said Muluadzi. Police confiscated a hunting rifle and an axe from them after they allegedly tried to poach game in the Kruger National Park. Their case was postponed to 15 March. Source: Online

Monday, March 4, 2013


It has been rumoured that Elephant Experience in Victoria Falls have been exporting elephants to Zambia across the Limpopo under cover of darkness. We have also heard that they have been smuggling lion cubs across the border in the boot of a car. They are apparently assisted by Chief Mukuni who has a lodge on the Zambian side called Mukuni Big 5 Lodge. The Victoria Falls community has always had concerns about the location of Elephant Experience and due to this, in 2007, a meeting was held between Environment Africa, Environmental Management Agency, ZNSPCA, Victoria Falls Council and National Parks. Their concerns were about the degradation of the land occupied by Elephant Experience and lack of feeding and freedom for the elephants to express their natural behaviour. The conclusion of the meeting was that Elephant Experience had to find other, or more land but due to their contacts with the ruling party, nothing has ever been resolved. Johnny Rodrigues Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Landline: 263 4 339065 Mobile: 263 712 603 213 Email: Facebook: Website: