Two Zambian poachers were killed while eight others escaped after a shoot-out with National Parks rangers at Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls early on Saturday.
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Zimbabwe rangers who were strategically deployed in the park, came face-to-face with the poachers at around 5am and gunned down two poachers, before recovering an AK47 rifle and 100kg of maize-meal.
Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the eight poachers who escaped crossed back to Zambia.
“Our two rangers were strategically deployed in the Zambezi National Park and at around 5am on May 21, they came into contact with 10 Zambian poachers and killed two, said Ms Washaya-Moyo.
“Eight other poachers escaped and crossed back to Zambia. We recovered an AK 47 rifle and more than 100kg of mealie-meal,” she said.
“This is a strong message to poachers never to enter our national parks,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Washaya-Moyo said there was anti-poaching activity in Save Valley Conservancy near Chiredzi, which has resulted in the arrest of 62 poachers since January and the recovery of a lot of poaching paraphernalia, such as fishing nets, bows and arrows, donkey and wire snares.
“Statistics from Save Valley Conservancy dating back to January this year show that 62 animal poachers and five fish poachers were arrested.
“The poachers killed 22 impala, 11 zebra, four eland, four buffaloes and one elephant, among others. At least one AK47 rifle, 343 wire snares, 41 rounds of ammunition, four bows and arrows, four donkeys, four bicycles and three by 100 metres long fishing nets, among other things, were recovered,” she said.