29 smuggled sables translocated to Masvingo

HARARE - Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has translocated 29 sables that were being smuggled to South Africa via Zimbabwe to a wildlife college in Masvingo.

The intercepted sables — worth $348 000 — from Zambia, were moved to Mushandike College of Wildlife Management to avoid contamination of the local gene pool and for further study.

ZimParks together with the police intercepted the illegal exportation of the animals by Edwin Hewitt, Hendricks Johannes Blignaut and John Herbert Pretorias of South Africa.

They had no capture and translocation permits and had no export permits for the sables.

The sables consisted seven males, 16 females and six calves.

The two trucks that the animals were being transported in were stuck in the mud, resulting in the arrest, conviction, fining and deportation of the three.

“ZimParks had the option of selling the sables as part of genetic management or even export them but realised the need to study the genetics of the sables whose origin is Zambian, after they were forfeited to the State. 

“The sables could not be kept at Nottingham (ranch on the borders of Zimbabwe and South Africa)  forever as fears that they could escape were rising and chances of the sables suffering from long hoof growth due to lack of long distance movement also needed to be managed,” she said.   

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