At least 60 elephants have been killed by poachers in Zimbabwe using toxic poison over a period of five weeks. Gavino Garay reports.
Disturbing video: Poachers kill elephants with cyanide
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The harsh reality of poaching has come again to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
This time the the chosen method was poisoning with cyanide.
(SOUNDBITE (Shona) UNNAMED , PARKS RANGER, SAYING:
“There was a lot of noise during the night that lasted until dawn and when we went to investigate, we discovered that there were poachers outside.”
By dumping the lethal drug into watering holes, park rangers say the poachers don’t even need to lure the animals.
All they have to do is wait for the animals to drink…and then die. With cyanide, it’s a slow, painful process
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment Oppah Muchinguri says it’s not easy to catch the criminals..
(SOUNDBITE (English) OPPAH MUCHINGURI, MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE, SAYING:
“Where they are now armed, they also have some surveillance equipment where they know where to avoid our rangers.”
It’s a crisis that has seen elephant populations decimated across the southern Africa.
Seeking ivory from their tusks poachers are driven by profits that come largely from China where ivory is highly valued.
Whether by poison or other means and despite the risks of capture, poaching remains a lucrative business.