Leonard Ncube, The Chronicle | April 18, 2021
Concern has been raised about snaring of wildlife in Victoria Falls where anti-poaching units have been busy rescuing trapped animals and removing wire snares in the bush.
One of the wildlife conservation organizations, Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (VFWT) reported that it had rescued about half a dozen animals that had been ensnared in the past few weeks.
Other organisations involved in anti-poaching are Bhejane Trust, Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, Victoria Falls World Challenge Pigeon Race, some tour operating companies and are working with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks).
Wildlife is a key tourism draw card for Victoria Falls and Hwange as tourists who visit the country’s prime destinations also do game drives to view different kinds of animals.
Posting on its social media platform, VFWT said it rescued a buffalo and a bull elephant this week, with a wildebeest, warthog and waterbuck saved recently.
All the animals were treated and released back to the bush.
“Working together with partners from the community we were able to dart this adult female buffalo with wire a snare around the back right leg. We thank Zambezi Horse Safaris for their assistance in helping us dart from horseback to separate the female from a small herd of about 20. The wound was pretty infected but we were able to clean it out and treat the infection as we expect the animal to recover,” said VFWT.
The buffalo was rescued two days ago while the organisation rescued a warthog with a wire snare around its neck last weekend.
A bull elephant which was rescued recently had a wire snare on its back left leg while a female waterbuck had two wire snares, one around the neck and another around the leg.
VFWT seeks to find sustainable solutions for communities and wildlife to co-exist, determine veterinary diseases prevalence and assist in disease management and prevention, facilitate conservation education of local communities and work with stakeholders in various wildlife programmes.
Last month the VFWT reported that it had removed 1 488 wire snares from the bush in a months’ anti-poaching campaign in partnership with other units.
A news crew followed up with the Trust and an executive from its Victoria Falls office who referred to remain anonymous said the anti-poaching exercise was an all-stakeholder exercise to try and contain poaching.
Bhejane Trust director Mr Trever Lane said poaching is prevalent as illegal hunters continue to use wire snares to trap animals.
Without giving statistics, ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tianshe Farawo said game poaching is on the rise.
He commended efforts by various organisations partnering Government in anti-poaching and conservation initiatives.
“We have been having a lot of support from conservation partners and appreciate the good work that they are doing. But we still need more partners and this is our clarion call to say everyone must take part to look after wildlife. Figures for poaching have generally gone down but lately we have had an increase in plains game poaching of animals like impalas, kudus and others,” he said.