By Nqobile Tshili
Zimbabwe’s global actress Danai Gurira has urged fellow citizens to contribute towards curbing poaching as wildlife crimes are depriving the country of its heritage and tourists’ attractions.
Gurira, the Black Panther star who mostly grew up in Zimbabwe before relocating to America is in the country to raise awareness against poaching activities that are depleting Zimbabwe’s wildlife population.
She is part of an anti-poaching campaign that is being conducted by Wild Aid and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) under the theme: “Poaching Steals From Us All.”
In a video statement posted on her Twitter account on Wednesday, the actress, making reference to a scene in Black Panther where she was saved by a rhino, said poaching was a threat to the country’s heritage.
“We can’t all be saved by a rhino, but we can all help save them. We’re still losing our rhinos to ruthless poachers who kill these beautiful animals just because people want their horns. We’re losing our heritage and an important attraction for our tourism industry. So please report wildlife crime and help save our rhino because poaching steals from us all,” she said.
In a written tweet on the same platform, Gurira added: “For as long as I can remember poaching has threatened elephants and rhinos existence. It’s deeply important to me that future generations get to enjoy the majestic creatures we’ve been entrusted to protect.”
Her tweet had already attracted more than 10 000 and hundreds of comments by the time of going to print.
Also promoting the new campaign, Danai shared a photo of herself and an “orphaned bull elephant”. She also wrote the she felt good to be home.
“Feels great to be home and I hope that all Zimbabweans and others from around the world will visit our incredible national parks to experience these beautiful creatures.”
Poaching is rife in the country and it attracts a minimum mandatory nine-year jail sentence but it has not deterred poaching activities.
In 2013, the poaching of 400 elephants at Hwange National Park near Tsholotsho through cyanide poisoning attracted global attention on poaching activities in the country.
Following that incident the Government embarked on anti-poaching awareness campaigns targeting local communities as they are usually used by poaching syndicates’ who use them as cheap labour for their illegal activities.
Under the ‘Poaching Steals From Us All’ campaign, ZimParks is also eyeing partnership with several local opinion leaders and artists. The Chronicle