300 Zimbabwe Elephants Poisoned by Poachers at Game Park

Image: 300 Zimbabwe Elephants Poisoned by Poachers at Game Park

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 11:00 AM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
About 300 Zimbabwe elephants were poisoned by poachers, along with other animals, at the nation's largest game park since May of this year.

The animals, which also included lions, vultures, wild dogs and hyenas, were killed by poachers who used cyanide on the animals, the AFP reported.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

"In July, around 300 elephants had died from cyanide poisoning in Hwange and were discovered by a group of hunters who flew over the area," Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force told AFP.

The figure is much higher than an earlier estimate last week that about 100 Zimbabwe elephants had been poisoned.

Government officials were unable to confirm the latest figure from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

Four poachers have been arrested and sentenced to 15 years each for the crime, the AFP reported.

Rodrigues accused local authorities of downplaying the elephant death toll as part of "a big cover-up," to avoid prosecuting the criminals who were responsible for the operation.

"The problem is that a big cover-up is going on," Rodrigues said. "Those who have been arrested and convicted are the small fry who are being used as scapegoats while the big and dangerous fish are untouched. These include politicians and big business people."

Local authorities have given villagers till the end of the month to turn over cyanide they might have, otherwise suspects will face prosecution.

The poachers appear to have been local residents, considering that following the arrests, local traditional leaders asked for leniency, claiming their actions were not motivated by greed, but by desperation due to poverty.

Elephant ivory tusks are prized throughout Asia and the Middle East, where they are used for ornaments as well as in medicine.

Since 1989, the international ivory trade has been largely outlawed around the world due to the drastic decline of Africa's elephant population by the mid-twentieth century, the AFP noted.

According to wildlife experts, despite the prohibition, every year approximately $10 billion is exchanged in the illegal international ivory trade.

More than 120,000 elephants presently roam Zimbabwe's national parks, which stretch over 5,660-square miles. Despite parks' sizes, just 50 rangers patrol the massive parks.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related stories:

28 Elephants Killed in Africa, Poachers Bring Species Closer to Extinction

Elephant Extinction a Real Possibility

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Bernie Tiede, Convicted Murderer Mortician, to Get New Sentencing

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 17:39 PM

Bernie Tiede, the mortician who was convicted of killing his companion Marjorie Nugent in 1996, will receive a new sente . . .

Chrysler Pentastar Logo Getting Phased Out With FCA Formation

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 15:51 PM

Chrysler's iconic Pentastar logo is being phased out as the company introduces a new logo in keeping with the newly form . . .

Jian Ghomeshi: Canadian Radio Host Charged With Sexual Assault

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 15:16 PM

Canadian celebrity radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved