Malawi: War on Poaching – Wire Snares, Gin Traps Torched at Liwonde National Park


Evance Chisiano, Malawi News Agency

Date Published
Authorities at Liwonde National Park in collaboration with Operation Safe Haven on Monday torched 10,000 pieces of wire snares and gin traps which advance poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horns.
The wire snares are traps made from wire which poachers steal from an electric fence around the Park while the gin traps are made from iron to grip animals.

And on Monday, Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa led the torching exercise of the confisticated snares and traps at Liwonde National Park.

Nankhumwa condemned the practice, stating its devastates, robs and handicaps the country’s natural heritage and economy.

Liwonde National Park has Nine rhinos, about 700 elephants and 800 buffaloes. All these animals are vulnerable to wire snares and gin traps.

To this effect, Nankhumwa commended Operation Safe Haven for supporting government in dealing with acts that put the country’s wildlife in jeopardy.

Nankhumwa also received a four-room operation complex worth 85,000 US Dollars from Operation Safe Haven on Monday. The complex includes a radio communication network to improve communication system in the park’s seven camps.

Operation Safe Haven project coordinator Mark Hiley said the organization was established after noting high rates of poaching targeting elephants, rhinos and buffaloes which are part of the ‘Big Five’ animals which attract tourists.

He hoped that the operation complex will contribute towards an effective wildlife conservation and protection of the wildlife Liwonde National Park.

Hiley, who came to Malawi as a tourist in 2012 teamed up with Mike Labuschagne to start the Operation Safe Haven whose activities started in November 2014.

The project received funds from International Fund for Animal Welfare-IFAW.