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Poaching cases decline in Victoria Falls

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

ANTI-poaching mechanisms spearheaded through public private partnerships around Victoria Falls have seen wildlife poaching incidents declining significantly around the resort city.

Wildlife remains a major draw card for tourists into Zimbabwe and more so into areas such as Victoria Falls, hence its protection cannot be over emphasised.

Speaking at the handover ceremony for anti-poaching funds to the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VAPU) this Friday, the unit said notable progress has been made in fighting poaching in the area.

“Over the years, we have managed to reduce wildlife poaching incidents around Victoria Falls. The poaching include wildlife and wood poaching. We have managed to put a check on poaching activities, through working with local authorities such as Zimparks and we have many successes.

“For the past 25 years, we managed to remove over 30 000 wire snares around the bush. When we started we removed about 4 000 snares in the first year, but just before COVID-19 the number went down to around 360 snares,” said Mr Brightman Charles, Victoria Falls Anti-poaching Unit, Director.

Players in the tourism sector are supportive of the anti-poaching activities in the area.

“As African Sun Limited, we also benefit from this natural beauty and bio-diversity and we seek to participate and contribute to its preservation and restoration. The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit tries to ease some of the burdens by protecting the wildlife and habitat from poachers, as well as rescuing and rehabilitating injured animals.

“Additionally, they train ex-poachers in new skills so they find alternative avenues of revenue creation to give them a sustainable income without doing harm to flora and fauna. It is against this background that as African Sun Limited, we saw it fit, for us to assist the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit so that they are able to carry out the challenging tasks at hand,” explained African Sun Limited, Head of Marketing, Public Relations and Innovation, Ms Charlene Mtezo.

Victoria Falls is surrounded by national parks including Zambezi National Park, among others.

While there are positive developments with regards to ant-poaching, human-wildlife conflict remains a cause of concern in various communities countrywide as more animals continue to injure and kill people, particularly in areas close to conservancies.

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