Three elephants succumb to cyanide poisoning in Hwange

By Luckmore Safuli
ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) is investigating a case of suspected cyanide poisoning after three elephants were found dead near the Matetsi area in Hwange District.
The carcasses of the three jumbos were discovered on Monday morning by Matetsi villagers who are said to have been fetching firewood. The villagers informed the local leadership before the case was reported to relevant authorities.
Zimparks anti-poaching team and officers from other security agencies who attended the scene are still carrying out further investigations.
Zimparks Public Relations Manager Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident adding that preliminary investigations show that the three elephants succumbed to cyanide poisoning.
“There is an unfortunate incident which occurred in Matetsi in Matebeleland North where three elephants were found dead in a case of suspected cyanide poisoning case. We are investigating and are on a high alert,” he said.
According to information from Zimparks cyanide pills were discovered around the scene and no ivory was recovered. The Environmental Management Agency EMA is also working with Zimparks to decontaminate the area.
Zimparks says it is beefing up its anti-poaching team and warned would-be poachers that the country’s national parks remain no go areas.
There has been a marked decline in the number of elephants lost due to poaching over the past six months owing to effective anti-poaching mechanisms.