News / Africa

    Zimbabwe Wildlife Poisoned

    A critically endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) eats a Bushbuck's head and neck in the Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site, in northern Zimbabwe November 7, 2009.
    A critically endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) eats a Bushbuck's head and neck in the Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site, in northern Zimbabwe November 7, 2009.

    Poaching of Zimbabwe's dwindling wildlife is at an all-time high, and for the first time poison being put in water holes in protected areas is killing animals and endangering people living nearby.  Wildlife is Zimbabwe's main tourist attraction.

    Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority says that poachers have poisoned water holes in five national parks, killing at least 21 animals including lions and elephants, and that villagers living nearby are in danger.

    Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokesman for the parks authority, said poachers have developed new, "silent" techniques to kill animals, and that this was only discovered after the bodies of animals were found near water holes in some of Zimbabwe's most famous national parks last week.

    National parks officials say this is the first time animals in protected wildlife areas have died from poisoning.

    Peter Henning has been involved in wildlife management in southeastern Zimbabwe for many years.    

    He said although the poison had not yet been identified by government laboratories, he believed examination would find that a common poison known as "two step" was responsible for killing the wildlife and that this poison would continue to contaminate the area indefinitely.

    "Sometimes [it is] called 'two step" meaning  the animal once it consumes water with the poison in it takes two steps then it dies, very potent and that would mean the water in which it has been placed is permanently poisoned, it's very likely the mud itself is contaminated," said Henning.

    Henning said there was massive destruction of Zimbabwe's wildlife taking place in several protected areas. He said he has specific evidence of destruction of wildlife in low lying parts of southeastern Zimbabwe near a small town called Chiredzi.

    "I can speak of the Zimbabwe lowveld where there is complete devastation taking place at the moment," Henning added.  "A number of conservancies, Chiredzi River Conservancy is willfully being invaded now at the encouragement of some powerful politicians and they are cutting down trees, and slaughtering the wildlife including elephant and rhino."

    Henning said many animals were being poached, with wire traps being used to kill giraffe and deer. He said there was little evidence at present that guns were being used to kill wildlife.

    He said the new poaching method, poisoning water holes, was incomprehensible in its cruelty.  He said poisoned animals were a danger to birds and animals feeding on the carcasses as well as hungry people tempted to cook and eat the meat.

    "It is depravity in its extremity you can't describe it in any other manner," said Henning.

    National parks officials issued warnings to everyone including game rangers to carry fresh water with them and not drink from any of the watering places in the five protected wildlife areas affected by the poisoning.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.