Government silent as more elephants are slaughtered (Zimbabwe)
January 19, 2012
Chiredzi(ZimEye)Zimbabwe’s elephants continue to be butchered and this week, another elephant was found bleeding to its death, just as the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry remained quiet.
A number of healthy elephants were this week killed in Zimbabwe’s Chiredzi Conservation area which is now gradually being turned into a makeshift farming area by invaders.
Another elephant (pictured) was found shot in the Chiredzi River Conservancy and the herd chased with ‘something like 10 shots being fired’ according to witnesses.
The total number elephants wounded as a result of the shooting to date is not known.
Large trees are still being chopped down to make way for crops that do not do well in the Lowveld.
A Conservationist in the area told ZimEye:
After seeing the 44 wild elephants at our little dam on Saturday 14.1.12 morning and noon we heard 4 shots from our homestead on the western side of the dam at 3.30.
Monday morning at 7am we heard another 5 shots within half an hour. Monday afternoon one young elephant cow carcass was found, probably shot 4 or 5 days earlier on the eastern side of the Mungwezi River on Oscro. One tusk had been removed and the tail.
Tuesday lunch time another adult, lactating cow was found between our boundary and the Oscro ZRP station, tusks removed.
Tuesday late afternoon another elephant probably a young bull, was found lying on his brisket, tusks removed.
Other shots were reported on previous days, but too far for us to hear. How many more are lying rotting in the bush, how many more are running around with bullet holes, how many calves have lost their mothers?
“Large areas that have been cleared over the years are slowly become desertified and destroyed. Maize wilting where it has been planted in CRC, some patches have been completely burnt by the sun.
This is a tragedy on large scale that is taking place, and no one who has been put in positions to protect our wildlife and environment doing anything positive to do something to stop this destruction. The wildlife is being terrorized and traumatised,” a witness told ZimEye.
Efforts to get a comment from the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry were fruitless at the time of writing but earlier communication sent to the ministry in October last year still has not been replied to.