Two elephants were killed by suspected poachers using cyanide in the Liasha area of Hwange, the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe has said. About 260 kilogrammes of cyanide has since been recovered in a bushy area, while one of the elephants had been dehorned. The carcasses were recovered on Friday last week.
Cyanide kills in the most painful, yet silent fashion, a method that helps poachers to avoid the attention of game rangers, whose mandate is to guard the animals from danger. In an interview, Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said:
"We recovered two elephant carcasses in Liasha area in Hwange. One of them had been dehorned, while the other one was intact. "We also recovered 260kg of cyanide to avoid further poisoning of more elephants," he said. Mr Farawo said the matter had been reported to the police and the Environmental Management Authority for further investigations.
"This is an issue of a national concern, that we continue to lose our wildlife heritage in this barbaric and brutal manner," said. "Yes, it is our mandate as Zimparks to protect the wildlife heritage, but it is also everyone's duty to safeguard wildlife."
Mr Farawo said they would continue to embark on awareness campaigns and called on various stakeholders in the wildlife industry and individuals to help in protecting the wildlife heritage. In January, Zimparks named a suspected cross-border poaching kingpin as Dumisani Moyo. The authority said Moyo was hiding in Zambia and police were tracking him down. Since 2016, Zimbabwe has lost nearly 400 elephants to cyanide.