Friday, January 15, 2016

Zambian poacher killed in shoot-out with Zim game rangers

By Oscar Nkala GABORONE, January 13 (ANA) – A suspected Zambian poacher was on Tuesday killed during a shoot-out with game rangers in Zimbabwe who have pursued them through Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls-based rhino conservation group Bhejane Trust said. At least 20 heavily armed Zambians are reported to have crossed into the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe to escape a hot pursuit unit of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), which killed one and injured several in a fire-fight at Chobe National Park in Botswana on Thursday last week. In a brief statement released last night, Trevor Lane, chairman Bhejane Trust, praised parks rangers for subduing the heavily armed poacher who was killed in the main camp area of Hwange National Park early on Tuesday. “There was a successful contact at Boss Long One in the Main Camp area of Hwange National Park. One Zambian poacher shot dead and an AK rifle plus 15 rounds and three magazines recovered. “The parks call sign was led by newly transferred ranger from Zambezi Park, Simon Muchatibaya. The new management in Main Camp seems to be producing results,” Lane said. Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) game rangers and a special police anti-poaching unit have been on the trail of the poachers since receiving a tip-off about their arrival from Botswana police last Thursday. The large group crossed into Zimbabwe in the hope of trekking through Hwange, Matetsi and Zambezi National Parks. It is believed they were aiming to reach the Zambezi river and paddle across it into Zambia by canoe. On Sunday, two members of the Zambian group, on the verge of succumbing to heat stroke, surrendered to Zimbabwean police after losing their way and wandering through the forest in a heat-wave that ended on Monday. According to Bhejane Trust, the Zambians have killed one elephant since they crossed into Zimbabwe last week. Meanwhile, Zimbabwean security forces have intensified the search in all the three game sanctuaries. Pickets and ambush points have been set up along the Zambezi River to keep the crossing points under surveillance. – African News Agency (ANA)

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