THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has increased the compensation fees for illegal hunting from between US$1 000 and US$20 000 to between US$3 000 and US$50 000 with effect from April 6. Compensation fee is the value attached to an animal by the authority.
The authority's spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the move was necessitated by the increasing cases of offenders arrested for violating the laws governing the protection of wildlife and fauna in the country.
"The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has reviewed compensation fees for hunting of animals and fish as well as payment for trapping of wild animals," said Ms Washaya-Moyo.
"The authority hopes that the above fees will act as a deterrent measure to would be offenders. The development will assist the courts in determining the seriousness attached to wildlife crimes."
Ms Washaya-Moyo said of major interest is the increase in compensation fees for major or prime species such as the buffalo, leopard, lion, cheetah, elephant and zebra, which of late have been targets of poachers.
The compensation fee for an elephant is now US$50 000 up from US$20 000.
Fees for male buffalo increased from US$6 000 to US$10 000 while that for the female is now US$8 000, up from US$5 000.
Lion (male and female) compensation fees rose to US$20 000 from US$5 000 while fees for zebra increased by US$2 000 to US$3 000.
For the leopard, the fees rose from US$5 000 to US$20 000.
The compensation value for both black and white rhinos has been maintained at US$120 000 because the authority feels it is deterrent enough.