Journal du Cameroun | April 28, 2020
Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism on Tuesday said no new cases of rhino poaching have been reported since the COVID-19 lockdown began early this month.
In a statement, the ministry said the decline “is attributed to reinforcement of anti-poaching surveillance and monitoring measures which are being carried out in areas where the rhinos are found.”
While Botswana has been criticized by its neighbours for adopting a shoot-to-kill policy, the government is adamant that “these proactive measures have resulted in six poachers losing their lives over the last month.”
The ministry said it is very conscious of the fact that poachers may try to take advantage of the lockdown and the lack of movement by tourists in remote areas to carry out their illegal activities.
“Anti-poaching personnel remain on active duty in all wildlife areas to counter any poaching at this time and will continue to exercise a zero tolerance approach to any criminal activities,” it said.
Botswana adopted the shoot-to-kill policy in 2013 as a measure to curb the mass slaughter of wildlife in the country, particularly rhinos and elephants.
Under the policy, poachers are shot dead on the spot if they are caught.