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Fears in Zimbabwe as poachers poison water

(Monday 19th September 2011)

Health fears are on the rise in Zimbabwe as poachers began poisoning water holes in many of the country's biggest game parks, killing dozens of animals.

Caroline Washaya-Mayo, a spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, has told the Sunday Mail newspaper that waterholes have been contaminated with the unidentified poison at the Gonarezhou, Mana Pools, Zambezi, Charara and Matsudona national parks.

"This is the only time we have had cases of poaching involving chemicals," Washaya-Mayo said, adding that poachers are using different techniques that are silent and do not raise suspicion.
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Nine elephants, five lions, two buffaloes and several vultures are among the animals known to have died after drinking the water.

Authorities are concerned that the health of nearby villages may be at risk if residents accidentally drink the contaminated water and urged game rangers patrolling the areas to carry their own water.

In July, a local conservation group accused Chinese miners of using poisoned bread to kill a herd of elephants in the Zambezi Valley.

Poisoned cabbage leaves were reportedly used to kill rhinos in southeastern Zimbabwe last year.

Authorities in once game-rich Zimbabwe have recently stepped up their fight against poachers, killing three suspected rhino poachers in the Chipangayi Safari area on Tuesday.

Comments for Fears in Zimbabwe as poachers poison water

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Sep 19, 2011
by: Inge Skliros

It is beyond belief that some people have taken to poisoning waterholes in order to kill animals for bushmeat and ivory. It seems that the increasing influx of Chinese labour has multiplied the poaching problem a thousand fold and the Zimbabwean Parks Service doesn't have enough staff to patrol all the waterholes in their region. The government of Zimbabwe lacks the will to protect it's wildlife, indeed, one wonders if it is in collusion with the poachers. What, if anything, can we in the rest of the world do, to stop this wanton and cruel killing? It appears that the only way to stop the poisoning of water is for patrols to set up camp by waterholes, but this would disrupt the animal migration to water during the dry season. A pox on all poachers and their houses. May they rot in Hell!

Sep 21, 2011
Zimbabwe Poachers Turn To Poisoning Water Holes
by: Huff Post

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's wildlife authority says poachers have begun poisoning watering holes, killing nine elephants and at least five lions in recent weeks.

Spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo of Zimbabwe's wildlife department says elephants' ivory tusks were removed but lions' heads and skins were left intact.

She says the lions appeared to be accidental victims of the poisoning. She told the Associated Press on Monday the new incidents were the first on record.

She says buffalo were also killed, as were vultures that preyed on the dead animals.

She says tests were being done to determine the nature of the chemicals that could kill creatures as large as elephants, which can eat hundreds of pounds (kilograms) of vegetation each day.

Sep 21, 2011
Vultures being poisoned
by: Tony

Another horrific development is that poachers are putting out poisoned meat to kill vultures.

Vultures are attracted to carcasses from the poached animals and are therefore often a giveaway to a poachers presence. This has resulted in many poachers being caught, so now they are wiping out the vultures to remove this threat.

Once again completely messing up the balance of nature.

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