EDITOR — It makes sad reading to hear claims by locals that the number of elands in Chimanimani Eland Sanctuary is fast dwindling amid fears of rampant poaching activities.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) should get tough on poaching activities not only at the eland sanctuary but across the whole country, especially in areas such as Gonarezhou and Hwange national parks.
It is also high time that citizens engage in wildlife conservation practices to deter poaching activities as well as creating a conducive environment for the flourishing of wildlife.
Wildlife populations have drastically decreased since the 1980s and at the rate at which these beautiful animals are being decimated surely there will be none left for future generations.
These concerns also come in the wake of rampant poaching activities last year that left hundreds of elephants decimated.
As if that is not enough, the government has controversially sold elephants to Asian countries.
The elephants exported to China are said to be dying as they are failing to adapt to the climatic conditions and the new ecosystem.
Concerned conservationists allegedly reported that “of the 24 elephants that were exported to China last year, one died and they are now 23. And of the previous eight that were exported in 2010, seven of them died, leaving only one”.
Such claims are heart-rending to animal rights activists and we urge the government to investigate the issue and to reconsider the move.
Despite the condemnation of the move, the government even plans to increase the export of wild animals to include lions, baboons and hyenas.
I feel this amounts to cruelty to animals as they are forced out of their natural habitat to adapt to alien climatic conditions.
To make matters worse, the elephants are said to be fed carrots, water melons and bananas which don’t give them the nutrients and salts they require and which they get from their local habitat.