Maputo — Wardens in Banhine National Park, in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza, have seized an Isuzu vehicle and eight home made hunting guns, abandoned by a gang of poachers whom they were pursuing last week, according to a report in Tuesday’s issue of the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”.
The poachers abandoned their vehicle (which bore no number plate) and their guns after an exchange of fire with the wardens. In the back of the vehicle, the wardens found the bodies of 72 dead animals, including bush pigs, ostriches, and various species of antelope.
The police say they are now on the trail of the poachers. Jeremias Langa, spokesperson of the Gaza Provincial Police Command, said the attempts to arrest the poachers involve contacts with local communities in Gaza and the neighbouring province of Maputo and Inhambane.
Langa urged communities to be vigilant, and to inform the police of any suspected movements of poachers.
The Banhine park covers an area of 7,000 square kilometres between the Limpopo and Changane rivers, and is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also includes national parks in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Banhine is currently expanding its tourist accommodation capacity in a project budgeted at 450,000 US dollars and financed by the World Bank, This involves building three “community lodges” each with a 55 bed capacity.