ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE 17th September 2016 PLEASE BE WARNED THAT SOME OF THE IMAGES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY UPSET OR OFFEND SENSITIVE VIEWERS ZIMBABWE SITUATION UPDATE - A FOLLOW UP:
In our last report dated 9th September we mentioned that in February this year, the Zimbabwean Authorities and the Chinese officials have been capturing animals for export to China. We are aware of 8 lions, 4 giraffe, 8 hyenas, and 40 elephants that have been captured already, and are waiting to be sent to Chimelong Safari Park, in China. The Zimbabwean authorities are trying to fulfill their order of 130 elephants and 50 lions. It has been reported that the captors are using bull hooks to coax the elephants in and out of the containers so as to prepare them for their trip to China. The whole unjust practice of capturing these poor elephants has left the family units severely disrupted and damaged which will in turn cause conflict between the humans and the animals.
Some of the captured animals have been beheaded so that they may be mounted and sold as trophies especially animals with large horns. The heads are being utilized by a local Chinese business woman and then sold as trophies. The monkeys are being skinned and apparently being fed to the capture unit.
We mentioned in the last report that the officials are in the process of capturing elephants under the age of 6 years old to be “relocated” to Chisarira, near Binga which we found suspicious. We have since been told that they have increased the size of the capture pens so that they can hold more animals.
The runway airstrip in Victoria Falls has been lengthened so that the bigger aeroplanes can land there and we suspect that this is for the purpose of exporting the captured animals directly out of the Hwange area instead of transporting them through to the Harare International Airport like the animal capture that took place last year.
Zimbabwe is the only country in the world that routinely kills animals on a Thursday to feed the National Parks staff. The Director General of National Parks was sent on forced leave recently because after the officials carried out an investigation, they discovered that 228kgs of Rhino horn and a couple of tons of ivory was missing from the central stores.
It has also been brought to our attention that it is suspected that one of the male members of Cecil’s pride has been captured too and is ready for export to China.
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