Botswana: Poaching Cause for Concern in Tuli Block

Machaneng — Senior wildlife ranger in the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Mr Motlhanka Gami, says poaching in the Tuli Block area remains a challenge.

Mr Gami said in an interview that hunting of wildlife in some farms was still taking place, despite engagement of Botswana Defence Force (BDF), Botswana Police Service (BPS) and other stakeholders.

Since the beginning of 2019, he said they recorded 18 cases of poaching and some of the cases were before the courts, but expressed concern about some cases taking long to be prosecuted.

Mr Gami condemned poaching in the area and said some of the villagers had made it their livelihood.

"Some people poach during the night with the aid of dogs while some use wire traps to catch wild animals."

He said they usually conducted patrols along the Tuli Block area to detect any poaching activities that were likely to occur or might had happened.

Their patrols had been fruitful as they discovered and destroyed several wire snares.

He said the wires are shaped in a circle and suspended from trees in such a way that when the animal passes it would catch it by the neck and strangle it.

The senior wildlife ranger said while some of the ensnared animals can attempt to escape, they usually incur severe injuries causing death thereby leaving them to rot in the bush.

He said that the wire snares are the biggest threat to wildlife in Tuli Block because most of the time poachers use them.

He said some of the wire snares are hidden and not found during the patrols and end up trapping wild animals.

He appealed to the residents of the concerned villages to desist from poaching.

Kgosi Obert Thutlwa of Mokobeng voiced concern about poaching at Tuli Block farms because most of the times the owners of the farms report to him about some of the residents who engage in this unlawful activity.

He explained that it was trying to catch these perpetrators the villagers choose to remain mum though they know the culprits as they sell game meat secretly to the villagers.

The chief said that the poachers are being fed information by the employees who work in those farms to perform this hideous criminal activity so he cautioned them to desist from such.

To curb the problem the village leader usually organises kgotla meetings to try and sensitise residents on the dangers of poaching and the importance of the wild animals to the tourism sector.

Kgosi Thutlwa pleaded with Mokobeng residents to discontinue poaching as such can land someone in jail for a long period of time.

Source : BOPA

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