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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid