By Thupeyo Muleya
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers shot and killed two poachers on Tuesday in Hwange National Park after they violently resisted arrest.
Zimparks spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo confirmed the shooting yesterday.
One of the poachers was from Nkayi while the other had no particulars on him.
“Zimparks rangers and members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police reacted to gunshot sounds at the Main Camp, Hwange National Park, mid-morning on Tuesday. Upon noticing the team, the poachers opened fire resulting in a shootout and the two were later shot and killed,” she said.
“According to the particulars of one of the poachers, it was concluded that he is from Nkayi, while the other could not be immediately identified because he had no identification particulars on him.”
Ms Washaya-Moyo said they recovered a .450 rifle, two live cartridges, one empty cartridge, three pairs of elephant tusks, one adult bull elephant, an axe, a stone file, two elephant tails, 5kg of mealie-meal, salt, a pot and four cellphones from the poachers.
She said further investigations into the matter were underway.
“We want to appeal to the public that protected areas especially those with wildlife have people that police them, and any illegal entry for the purposes of harvesting of wildlife is suicidal.
“Our rangers, working together with the police have a mandate to protect and conserve wildlife. They will continue doing exactly that,” she said.
The incident comes a few days after a suspected poacher from Kwekwe, Godknows Mashame (43), was arrested for killing a rhinoceros and removing its horn.
The rhino was worth $120 000. The incident occurred in Bubye Valley Conservancy, Beitbridge district. Mashame of 19067 Mbizo 4 Extension was arrested after dropping his mobile phone at the crime scene on December 24 last year.
Police used the phone to track him.
They recovered three firearms, two empty magazines, 71 Emmex explosives, eight live rounds of bullets and two kudu horns from the suspect.
Mashame has since appeared before a Beitbridge magistrate charged with unlawful killing or hunting of a rhinoceros and was remanded in custody to January 16. The Herald