Rangers, poachers in shoot-out

HARARE - A suspected elephant poacher was shot dead while two of his colleagues were arrested in Hurungwe after a shoot-out with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers on Thursday.

The deceased, Artwel Siyonda and his two unnamed colleagues were allegedly caught poaching in Hurungwe Park when the incident occurred.

ZimParks public relations manager Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident.

“Our officers were on patrol and they came across these poachers.

“The poachers started firing at our rangers triggering a fight back which resulted in the unfortunate loss of life.

“We value human life, we don’t want to lose human lives unnecessarily but when we are left with no option, we will fight back,” he said.

Farawo urged people to desist from poaching activities at National Parks and protected areas.

“We are saying to poachers and everyone else that National Parks are protected, they are no go areas especially for poaching activities.

“If you are found in those places, you will be arrested and if you resist you will be shot,” he said.

He said ZimParks has declared zero tolerance to poaching and will guard jealously natural resources not only for the benefit of this generation but also for the benefit of future generations adding that since the organisation is mandated to protect animals, it will do so with all its might.

He called on partners to continue supporting ZimParks in a bid to conserve wildlife

“The only challenge that we have is that we do not have much resources and we are constrained with resources in terms of our patrol vehicles.

“We are calling partners to continue supporting our conservation efforts to ensure that we remain one of the top countries in the world with rich wildlife resources so that we can also attract more tourists in line with our government policy.

“Tourism is one of our low hanging fruits and we can always do so if we sustainably conserve our wildlife for the benefit of those tourists,” he said.

Meanwhile a 40-year-old German tourist was killed by an elephant at Mana Pools National Park while taking selfies on Wednesday.

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