In a climate of political chaos Zimbabwe's wildlife is being exterminated
1st June, 2008
A jewel in the dust
‘Zimbabwe used to be the jewel of sub-Saharan Africa,’ says Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), which monitors the state of the country’s wildlife, ‘and we used to have some of the world’s most progressive and successful conservation policies. Our private ranches held large numbers of wildlife. We have all the Big Five here – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. Now it is all going.’ Last year, ZCTF produced a disturbing report which showed that more than 90 per cent of animals on Zimbabwe’s private ranches and national parks had been lost to commercial and subsistence poaching since 2000, and an estimated 60 per cent of its total wildlife has been killed off in response to the country’s economic near-meltdown.
According to Rodrigues, shooting wildlife under the guise of harvesting bushmeat (for domestic consumption, but also for export to cities such as London and Paris) or for biltong (dried meat), or because an animal has been declared ‘rogue’, is increasingly serving as cover for the illicit gathering of ivory. ZCTF also has evidence that the government...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.