Natasha Adam, The Chronicle | February 10, 2020
A suspected rhino poacher was recently shot dead during a shoot-out with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers at Save Valley Conservancy in Masvingo province.
ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said two other suspected poachers escaped.
Mr Farawo said the suspected rhino poachers were armed and ZimParks rangers managed to recover firearms at the scene. He described the incident which occurred on Monday last week as unfortunate.
The ZimParks spokesperson said the incident is still under police investigation and no arrests have been made yet. “It is unfortunate that one suspected poacher was shot dead in Save and two other suspected poachers managed to escape. We were able to recover a rifle that we suspect they were using, a silencer and four rounds of ammunition,” said Mr Farawo.
He said ZimParks had adopted zero tolerance to poaching.
Mr Farawo said on December 31 last year four ZimParks rangers were shot and killed during an exchange of fire with poachers in Kariba.
“We are on high alert. National parks are protected areas. They are no-go areas for illegal activities and poachers should be warned,” said Mr Farawo.
“It is difficult to arrest armed people so at the end of the day you have to fight fire with fire.”
Last month, three suspected poachers, among them a cop stationed at Bulawayo’s Pumula Police Station Nhlanhla Nkomo (43) appeared in court for allegedly poaching rhinos at Bubye Valley Conservancy outside Beitbridge.
Last year in May, two poachers were shot and killed during a shoot-out with rangers at Bubye Valley Conservancy. The two poachers who were armed with a rifle and an axe, had contact with rangers while tracking a rhino.