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Suspected Zambian rhino poacher killed in Zim

News - Date: 06 February 2012


A suspected Zambian poacher was shot dead by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) rangers at Tshakabika game reserve outside Beit Bridge last Wednesday as the authority intensified the war against the poaching of rhinos.

The incident came after the authority lost 23 rhinos last year to poachers, a decrease in rhino deaths after 52 were lost in 2010.

ZPWMA public relations manager Ms Carol Washaya-Moyo said the poacher was part of a group of three who were spotted by game rangers who were on an anti-poaching patrol in the Tshakabika area of Sinamatela National Park on 25 January. "During an effort to effect an arrest, the three poachers resisted and fired shots at the rangers. It was in this process that our rangers returned fire and the gunner was shot and killed," she said.

Washaya-Moyo said an AK47 assault rifle, 34 AK47 rounds, a Zambian Sunday Post newspaper, one axe, 15 kilogrammes of mealie-meal with a Zambian label, four kilogrammes of rice, a torch, a mosquito net, two kilogrammes of sugar, a Nokia 1208 cellphone with a Zambian network line, a knife, a raincoat, a small elephant tusk and cooking pots were recovered.

"The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the police have since intensified investigations in an effort to track down the poachers who are on the loose," she said.

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Mashudu Netsianda

Mashudu Netsianda is our correspondent in Beit Bridge, Zimbabwe. He joined us in 2006, writing both local and international stories. He had worked for several Zimbabwean publications, as well as the Times of Swaziland. Mashudu received his training at the School of Mass Communication in Harare.