By: Oscar Nkala
Gaborone – An alleged Zambian poacher killed, decapitated and de-horned an elephant, while another one died after breaking a leg after falling into a sand bank in the Zambezi National Park near the Zimbabwean resort town of Victoria Falls.
In a statement released on Wednesday night, Bhejane Trust chairman Trevor Lane said they suspect the latest poaching incident to be the work of a lone Zambian poacher who operates on the Zambezi River bank and has previously targeted hippos in hit-and-run operations.
“The elephant depicted is from a Zambian poacher, possibly in a hit-and-run tactic of crossing the Zambezi late evening, targeting elephants coming to drink, following and shooting at night and then getting safely back into Zambia early the next morning.
“Unusually, the Zambians had taken meat and a skin panel, but this appears to be the work of a known poacher who has shot hippo and buffalo for meat before – he might now be going into ivory,” Lane said.
The poaching incident came as the elite “Black Mamba” anti-poaching unit of the Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project arrested two suspected poachers and recovered a pair of elephant tusks.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday night.
They are due to appear at the Kariba Magistrate’s Court shortly to face charges of poaching and illegal possession of ivory.
MAPP hailed the ongoing arrests, saying they provided plenty of information that was essential to the success of future anti-poaching operations.
“Every arrest provides an opportunity to gather more information as to who else is involved, where and how they operate, their routes, the buyers, syndicates, illegal weapon and ammunition suppliers, their addresses, phone numbers and vehicles,” the group said.-AFA