Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZImParks) Rangers in the year 2020 gunned down 5 poachers involved in 10 armed poaching incidences in the country’s various game parks, The Sunday Mail reports.
ZimParks however noted that poaching activities significantly declined this year and attributed the development to:
The deployment of high-tech drones to monitor conservancies,
Retraining of rangers
The introduction of a shoot-to-kill policy.
The Judiciary handed down tough sentences on poachers and this has helped deter would-be offenders.
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This was revealed by ZimParks Spokesperson Tinashe Farawo who said this to The Sunday Mail:
Twenty elephants were poached this year, marking a significant decrease from the 30 that were killed in 2019.
We have had 10 armed contacts with poachers this year, with five of them leading to fatalities. If you look at it, five years ago we would have about 500 elephants poached in a year but with the introduction of new strategies by management, we are bringing the numbers down
We are also working with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to help with protecting elephants especially in the Hwange National Park and also other partners to fight poaching.
Farawo also said the rangers are better equipped to protect the animals now because they received patrolling vehicles:
Before the new management came in there were a lot of constraints especially in terms of vehicles but now we have managed to procure over 100 vehicles for patrolling and tracking and this has helped us become more visible around the protected areas.
We are now also harnessing technology by deploying drones and this helps us in monitoring wildlife and the protected areas. We are now able to detect intruders early and this has really helped to curb poaching.
Zimparks is however still battling elephants overpopulation and they at some point considered giving the jumbos birth control pills.