Harare — POACHERS shot and killed 10 elephants at one spot in Gonarezhou National Park in Chikombedzi along Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique and South Africa last week.
The elephant carcasses without tusks were found lying along Mutandanjiva River near the road to Ndali communal lands in the north-eastern part of Gonarezhou.
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority immediately put a US$1 000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the poachers.
Parks spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo yesterday confirmed the incident that left the authority and the entire wildlife sector “shell-shocked”.
“The carcasses were discovered on June 1 and several spent cartridges from an FN riffle were found on the scene. The tusks were removed in what appeared to be a well-organised professional job.
“Parks has since posted a US$1 000 reward solicited from Frankfurt Zoological Society for information leading to the arrest of the poachers,” Washaya-Moyo said.
She said the newly appointed Parks Director General, Mr Vitalis Chadenga visited Gonarezhou at the weekend to get first hand information and he was satisfied by the level of investigations taking place, with assistance from national security agents.
The compensation value for a grown up elephant is $20 000 while a tusk costs at least $125 dollars per kilogram.
Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe’s gateway to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and there are fears that the poaching incident might have been co-ordinated by international poachers, posing as tourists coming for the 2010 Soccer World Cup finals.
Zimbabwe has more than 100 000 elephants and the parks authority has more than 34 tonnes of raw ivory worth US$5,1 billion in stock.