Two more elephants have been found poisoned near Zimbabwe's flagship Hwange National Park, the site of a mass killing of elephants two years ago, the state broadcaster said Tuesday.
The two dead elephants were found near Pelandaba village, in Tsholotsho, south of the park.
“ The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is yet to shed
more light on the matter after investigations have been completed,” the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said on its website.
More than 100 elephants were found dead around water holes in Hwange
in 2013 after poachers laced salt licks with cyanide obtained on the
President Robert Mugabe's government plans to export baby elephants
captured in Hwange, claiming the southern African country has more
elephants than it can support.
Authorities put the total elephant population at around 80 000 but conservationists say it is much lower.
Two elephants are among several animals that have been donated to
feed thousands of delegates expected to attend Mugabe's 91st birthday at
the end of the month, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the state national parks authority confirmed in a
statement on Tuesday that two poachers were killed in a shoot-out on the
southern boundaries of Matusadonha National Park earlier this month. A
rifle, ammunition and 70kg of dried buffalo meat were confiscated. A
third poacher got away.
One of the dead men was recently arrested for possession of four
elephants tusks. Illegal ivory possession attracts a mandatory nine-year
jail term in Zimbabwe.
Source: Two elephants killed in Zim park (The Guardian, 17/02/15)