Cyanide poison menace returns . . . Two jumbos killed in Hwange (Zimbabwe)


Whinsley Masara, The Chronicle

Date Published

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Two elephants have died due to cyanide poisoning in the Liyasha area of Hwange National Park. 

ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo conrmed the incident and said investigations were underway.

“I can confirm that we received a report on the discovery of two elephants that were killed; one jumbo was dehorned and the other had its tusk intact. It is suspected they died due to cyanide poisoning. Investigations are in progress and the matter has been reported to the police for further investigations. 
The Environmental Management Agency team is also on the ground disinfecting the poisoned areas,” he said. 

Mr Farawo said poaching remains the biggest challenge they were facing as an organisation. “We would want to increase patrols in the national parks to curb poaching activities but at times we are constrained by shortage of resources hence we are appealing to partners to assist,” he  said. 

Three weeks ago, another seven elephants were killed in another cyanide poisoning incident at Sikumi Forestry area in Dete, Matabeleland North. Last week, a Forestry Commission officer was arrested for poaching while his three alleged accomplices fled after they were found in possession of ivory in Dinde area in Dete. 

The poisoning of elephants with cyanide was first reported in 2013 and more than 300 jumbos died in the Hwange National Park, sparking worldwide outrage. 

In June, a total of 10 elephants died due to cyanide poisoning at the same park. Early this year, a suspected Zambian poacher was shot dead while another one was injured in Sibomvu area in the Pandamasule Forest in Matabeleland North Province.