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Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

Passap.jpg





ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

4th September 2014

MINING IN PRESIDENTIAL ELEPHANT AREAS

In July 2012, after becoming aware of mining pegs in the ground, Sharon Pincott wrote and spoke on numerous occasions to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment with a plea to halt all mining within the key home-range of the Presidential Elephants. Sharon requested, on behalf of the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe, to declare a no mining zone within a sensible radius of the Hwange National Park Main Camp. In 2011, President Mugabe had reaffirmed his commitment to protect Zimbabwe's flagship herd of elephants by way of a Presidential Elephant Decree Reaffirmation certificate. To date, this has still not happened. Now, agreements have been signed in China to commence coal and methane gas mining.

GWANGO LODGE

I was recently in Hwange National Park and I saw the state of Kanondo pan in the grabbed Gwango Elephant Lodge area. With the water now being diverted to this new private and highly controversial lodge - built now under separate ownership built on land only a mere couple of kilometres from Hwange Safari Lodge - the animals and elephants are suffering even more now than in past years with the pan looking worse than ever. Water for people and business is taking precedence over water for the wildlife.

We are also hearing endless complaints from tourists about no longer being able to get on Presidential Elephant game drives as they used to and there would certainly appear to be good reasons why this land claimant, Elisabeth Pasalk-Freeman does not want people seeing this disaster. In addition, talk of hunting in this area persists in the township despite Pasalk-Freeman purpoting to be the one chasing off the hunters.

If Minister Kasukwere refuses to intervene for the wildlife in this ongoing and concerning problem, then we implore the tourism Minister Mzembi to do so urgently. A petition with over 8 000 signatures called for the eviction of Elisabeth Pasalk-Freeman and for tourist traffic to be able to return to help keep a close eye on this once important area. That dedicated Presidential Elephant Conservation efforts were halted by this land claimant is also very telling of the calibre and motives of this person who is holding an "inherited" offer letter from government for this land, in an area where an offer letter should never have been issued. This all occured following the correction and withdrawal of Cabinet Minister Orbert Mpofu's offer letter for the same piece of land in 2005. Yet Pasalk-Freeman, defying a 2013 Cabinet Directive to remove her, has so far been allowed to stay put.

2 POACHERS SHOT DEAD

Two poachers were shot dead by National Parks and the police in Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls on Monday. The commanding police officer confirmed the shooting adding that they were still hunting for the other poachers who had fled.

The dead poachers have been identified as Christopher Muleya and Isaiah Sibanda.

On 23rd August, Zimparks rangers found an elephant carcass around Liungu Spring. At 2am the following morning, the rangers and the police were patrolling Liungu Springs and encountered the gang of poachers which ended in a shootout.

TWO MEN FINED FOR SELLING CYANIDE TO POISON ELEPHANTS

Two Victoria Falls men appeared in court yesterday facing allegations of selling cyanide to kill elephants. Namatani Ndlovu, a hunter and former National Parks ranger and Calvin Murapata, a commuter omnibus driver pleaded not guilty to "selling to any person any pesticide or toxic substance that one knows is not registered". The court was told that the two made a deal to sell cyanide granules weighing 340 grams to Norest Makuyana.

POACHER GETS 10 YEARS FOR POSSESSION OF 37 ELEPHANT TUSKS

A Zambian poacher who was shot by National Parks rangers in Siamungu, Binga in March was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The poacher, Siamungu Makina admitted to unlawful possession of elephant tusks and to illegally entering and hunting in Zimbabwe. He, however, denied that he was armed, saying that it was his accomplice who was shot down by the rangers who was armed. He claimed that they did not shoot the elephants in Zimbabwe. He said they shot them in Botswana and were just passing through Zimbabwe. When the rangers searched the area, they found 37 tusks valued at $174 000 as well as a rifle, knives and ammunition.

HELICOPTER AND LANDROVER AUCTIONED FOR PAY

We have had a report of a helicopter and a landrover being auctioned to pay a National Parks Director his termination package. The helicopter was confiscated from a game capture unit and we can't understand why it wasn't used for anti - poaching. It has been reported that the National Parks staff haven't received their salaries for several month so we wonder why the money raised from the auction wasn't used to pay them instead





ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

24th August 2014

Yet another barbaric "Mugabe Era" politically motivated farm attack

 

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DAVE AND MARY ANN PASSAPOORTIS WITH THEIR 2 DAUGHTERS

At around midnight on the 19th August, Dave and Mary Ann Passapoortis were viciously attacked in their home in Darwendale - a game farm called Chirawanoo. The attackers came in through the buglar bars straight into their bedroom and severely assaulted Dave and his wife Mary Ann. Nothing was stolen. Mary Ann was threatened with rape and sustained a broken hand and head injuries. Dave is in a very serious condition after being beaten repeatedly around the head with a knobkerrie. He was in the operating theatre from 3pm until 11pm while the neurosurgeon tried to repair the damage. He has a crushed skull and injuries to his face and eye sockets. After the attack, Dave and Mary Ann were tied up with barbed wire and their small daughter, 4 year old Hailey untied her mother from the wire.

Apparently in the past week, a lot of game has been killed on their game farm and it is believed that some ZANU "big wigs" are after the game farm so this leads us to believe that the attack was politically motivated. A few weeks ago, Mugabe stated that the farm invasions had stopped and no more offer letters would be accepted. In fact, it appears that the farm invasions have not stopped at all.

Thanks to the police, National Parks and the MP for the area who have been helping.

ATTEMPTED TAKE OVER OF CENTENARY FARM, FIGTREE

On the 1st August 2014, David Conolly received a phone call from the Officer Commanding Bullilima Mangwe District informing him that he was "observing the take over" of his property by a Dr R C Ndhlukula, Deputy Chief Secretary in the President's Office. Mr Conolly told him that there is a recent valid High Court order preventing this from happening. The Superintendent agreed to meet Mr Conolly at his farm where he wanted to read the Court Order. Mr Conolly gave him the Court Order to read and then asked him if he understood it. He said he did.

The Superintendent then presented the High Court Order to Dr Ndhlukula who refused to accept it and told Mr Conolly that he was a Senior Civil Servant in the Office of the President and that the Chief Justice had said that "white people could not come before the courts of Zimbabwe regarding land matters." He then added that he was not going to abide by the court and he would do things his way. He said he would take all the cattle, vegetables, household contents and farm equipment. His wife said that her people would sleep in Mr Conolly's house that night. Dr Ndhlukula said the no messenger of the court would evict his workers from the property.

Over the next 2 days, various vehicles arrived at the farm dropping off a tractor, personal belongings and farm equipment. Dr Ndhlukulu instructed his workers to round up Mr Conolly's cattle and remove them from the property. This amounted to 94 head of cattle which were moved to the adjoining property. He then instructed the man in charge of irrigation to turn off the irrigation pump which at the time was irrigating 65 tons of tomatoes, 19 000 cabbages and 500 000 onions. Mrs Ndhlukula then went to the farm village and instructed them to move out by the 6th August. This involved 14 men, 9 women and their families - a total of 75 dependants. Amongst these workers were people who had resided there since 1963.

GWAYI CONSERVANCY

I have just done a trip to Hwange and whilst there, I discovered that a group of Chinese people are living in an old house on Gwayi Conservancy. Apparently they moved in there in 2011 because they are planning on building a hydro-electric dam on the Gwayi River. To date, all they have done is cleared the land and decimated the wildlife. There is no sign of a hydro-electric dam there and there have been numerous complaints about the lack of wildlife there.



Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

14th July 2014
 
ELEPHANTS POISONED
 
We have recently heard about 4 elephants that were poisoned with cyanide. The dead elephants were found on the old mine road off the main Kazangula/Victoria Falls Road. Apparently the cyanide was mixed with salt and sprinkled in an area where the elephants eat the salt. We believe National Parks have now burnt the carcasses.
 
PETITION
 
A petition has been circulated regarding the take-over of Kanondo by Elisabeth Freeman/Pasalk. The concern is for the Presidential Herd that frequent the area. The petition was signed by 8 000 people, 2 000 of whom were Zimbabweans and handed to Minister Saviour Kasukwere. We believe the petition was ignored due to the fact that a very wealthy tycoon and minister is involved.
 
FAREWELL TO MAC BAILEY
 
It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of Mac Bailey. For those who were not fortunate enough to know him, he was, amongst other things a great conservationist. It was ironical therefore that he was killed by a crocodile in Kariba.
 
We wish his wife Jenny and his children our sincere condolences on the loss of a very special man.
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
22nd May 2014
 
ARMY GENERALS BOOTED OUT OF CONSERVANCY
 
There has been a guarded welcome of a decision by the ZANU PF politburo to
rescind all offer letters, granted to top party and army officials, for
land in the Save Valley Conservancy.

A politburo meeting chaired by Robert Mugabe on Monday also resolved to
remove all beneficiaries of the wildlife-based land grab from properties
that were meant to be protected under Bilateral Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreements (BIPPAs). This reportedly includes the Sango, Sabi,
Chishakwe, Masapasi, Makore, Gunundwe and Chamurwe ranches.

Other conservancy land gazetted by the state for takeover will now come
under the ownership of the National Parks authority.

During the Monday meeting Mugabe criticised what he called "double
dipping" by his officials, who already benefitted during ZANU PF's
commercial farm grab campaign. Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo reportedly
confirmed that this was the politburo position too.

"The issue was if you did not yet have a farm, then government will give
you one elsewhere and not in Save Valley. Most of them are multiple land
owners which is what the politburo said should not happen. That was the
decision, and their removal must be expedited as per the politburo
(resolution)," Gumbo said.

National Parks in 2012 issued hunting permits to 25 so-called indigenous
`farmers' who were given land in the Conservancy under the government's
`Wildlife Best Land Reform Policy'. This was in spite of a damning
parliamentary report in 2012, which said that the forced seizure of Save
land by top political and military figures with "no interest (or)
experience in wildlife conservation" had resulted in massive destruction
there.

The officials who benefitted included war vets leader Joseph Chinotimba,
Major General Gibson Mashingaidze, Major General Engelbert Rugeje,
Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke, then ZANU PF Masvingo provincial chair
Lovemore Matuke, then Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora, ZANU PF's
central committee member Enock Porusingazi, as well as ZANU PF MPs Alois
Baloyi, Abraham Sithole, Samson Mukanduri and Noel Mandebvu.

ZANU PF's Gumbo said that the government has withdrawn all 25-year leases
offered to the top officials "with immediate effect."

"The politburo made a decision to remove all those that had been allocated
leases in Save Valley. It does not matter whether you are a politburo
member or not, all beneficiaries were ordered out of that place," Gumbo
said.

We believe the decision is "overdue," because local Zimbabweans have not
benefitted since top chefs took over the Save land.

The owners of the conservancies originally came up with an idea that the
rural folk would become shareholders, but the big boys didn't like it and
they took over. Now that is being withdrawn and it's about time. They need
to be held accountable for the greed and corruption going on.

The previously gazetted land, now set to be handed over to
National Parks, should instead be given back to the original land owners.

We don't believe that Parks will be able to do a good job. They should
leave the land with the actual owners. They are the best conservationists;
they employ professional people to make things work. At the moment
National Parks can't even pay their employees. So it's doomed to fail.

He also added that the planned `indigenisation' of conservancy land owned
by white Zimbabweans would have a negative impact on Save Valley. Former
Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said that only white
Zimbabweans will be required to comply with ZANU PF's indigenisation laws
in the Conservancy. This is despite the fact that the indigenisation policy
was originally meant to only target foreign owned investments in Zimbabwe.

"Foreign-owned properties will not be affected as they are protected under
investment laws, but those [properties] of local whites will be,"
Kasukuwere said.

This doesn't make any sense. They have to come up with a
definite ruling (on indigenisation) because we need the foreign
investment.
 
PETITION ON THE PRESIDENTIAL HERD
 

MEDIA RELEASE: 19 MAY 2014
by Kenesias Dambakurima, in collaboration with March for Elephants and For Elephants Int.

__________FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE___________

 

Government aligned media outlet questions Ministers on Presidential Elephants Fiasco...

 

On May 16th The Herald, a media outlet favoured by the Government in Zimbabwe published a news story, 'Conservationists launch Presidential Elephants petition' speaking to the petition 'Save the Presidential Elephants Now' [*<-linked to petition] raised by Kenesias Dambakurima of Chiwundura Constituency, Zimbabwe, March for Elephants and For Elephants International, calling on the Ministers for Land and Tourism to immediately evict the occupiers of the land known as Kanondo adjacent to Hwange National Park Main Camp.

 

Despite both Ministers, Hon Douglas Mombeshora who is the Minister for Lands and Rural Resettlement and the Hon Walter Mzembi, the Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry, being members of the Cabinet, and party to the Cabinet Decision of 3 December 2013 which revoked the Letter of Offer of the land to Elisabeth Freeman, Mr Mbezi has chosen to state publicly that this is a Politburo matter. The Cabinet Ministers; including the Hon Saviour Kasukuwere, who is Minister of Environment and Wildlife, and is also named in the petition, are also members of the Politburo. This begs the questions if the Ministers will enforce their own directive? Could it be that the occupiers of the land are well connected and therefore being granted favour despite what is essentially a binding notice of eviction by the issuance of the Cabinet Directive of 3 December 2013? In the Herald article the Ministers appeared to play politics by passing the buck from one to the other, ultimately saying that the Politburo must make the decision.

 

Ms Freeman, the occupier of the land, is also known as Elisabeth Pasalk. Ms Freeman is the daughter of the late politician Isabel Shanangurai Madangure. Ms Freeman is the sister of a hunter from the nearby Matetsi sport-hunting area. There are ongoing fears of this claimant bringing underhanded and unethical hunting activities into this important land area, heightened by her demand that this area now be closed off to others.

 

In the article in the Herald, Minister Mombeshora invited the conservationists and concerned citizens to "come in person and tell us or write to me or the permanent secretary.” The petition letter is being prepared with the current 3700+ signatures gathered to date to be presented by fax and post to the Ministers, the Cabinet and the Politburo, so there can be no doubt that the matter has been formally raised with the responsible parties. The conservationists will appeal to the Ministers for a formal meeting in person with the relevant officials to discuss the issue.

 

Kenesias Dambakurima, the initiator of the petition, stated "We have the Ministers attention, we will submit the petition and letter to the Ministers as invited." He said "We are hopeful the Ministers will fulfil their duty and the legal requirements of the Cabinet Directive forthwith".

 

Damakurima went on to say "This article in the Herald has put our concerns about the wellbeing of the Presidential Elephants front and centre. Their safety and that of their land areas is our primary concern, the elephant's range within the Kanondo area has been a major draw card for tourists who access this land on game-drives from several well established safari lodge operators. The presence of these tourists help to ensure the elephant's safety. Tourism operators who have had access to the land, and the Presidential Elephants Conservation Project are currently denied access, the land is occupied in contravention of a Cabinet Directive."

 

“It is of deep concern that Ms Freeman has stopped the formal monitoring, recording and patrol efforts of a conservationist who had been dedicated to this work for the past 13 years. The authorities must ensure that all Presidential Elephant areas are open to this important work, which is crucial to knowing the ongoing status of this flagship herd across all land areas.” Damakurima said.

 

Please sign the Petition

*Save the Presidential Elephants Now

https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/minister-of-lands-resettlement-save-zimbabwe-presidential-elephants-now

 

Background Reading

Presidential Elephants Conservation project | Zimbabwe

www.facebook.com/PresidentialElephantsZim

 

Conservationists launch Presidential Elephants petition

http://www.herald.co.zw/latest-conservationists-launch-presidential-elephants-petition/

16 May 2014 The Herald (A Govt. Media Outlet) www.herald.co.zw

 

The Fate of the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe—A Conversation With Sharon Pincott

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/12/the-fate-of-the-presidential-elephants-of-zimbabwe-a-conversation-with-sharon-pincott/

12 May 2014 National Geographic newswatch.nationalgeographic.com

 

Questions raised over ownership of Zimbabwe’s Kanondo

http://www.tourismupdate.co.za/NewsDetails.aspx?newsId=72405

23 April 2014. South African Tourism Update. www.tourismupdate.co.za

Read also the numerous comments on this post.

 

Hunting of Zim Presidential Elephants Reportedly Begins

http://www.thezimbabwean.co/news/zimbabwe/71351/hunting-of-zim-presidential-elephants.html

23 April 14 http://www.thezimbawean.co/

 

Elephant Activist Calls It A Day

http://www.thezimbabwean.co/travel/71365/elephant-activist-calls-it-a.html

13 April 14 www.thezimbawean.co

 

An earlier Action post by For Elephant's International with details from the Presidential Elephant Conservation project here:

ZIMBABWE PRESIDENTIAL HERD UNDER THREAT

http://www.elephantectivism.org/2014/03/actionpresidentialelephants.html

25 March 14 www.elephantectivism.org

 

______End of article_______

 

To the Honorable Ministers, Cabinet Members and Politburo Members:
Hon Douglas Mombeshora Minister for Lands and Rural Resettlement;
Hon Walter Mzembi Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Zimbabwe, The Hon Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister for Environment, Government of Zimbabwe.

via Fax and Mail

Dear Hon Ministers, Cabinet Members and Politburo Members,

Further to the invitation by  the Hon Walter Mzembi Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the Herald article published 16 May 2014 to write to his offices and engage with the Permanent Secretaries, Ministers and Politburo, we as conservationists and concerned citizens present to you our petition titled ‘Save the Presidential Elephants Now’.

The petition states:
The land grab that has recently taken place in Kanondo area is illegal and a threat to the future of the Presidential Elephants herd.

We, the undersigned, contend that the herd of elephants known as the Presidential Elephants by Decree of the President the Hon Robert Mugabe in 1990 and reiterated in 2011 are an important part of Zimbabwe's international reputation as a premiere wildlife tourism destination. We contend that the safety of the Presidential Elephants is a very important issue to Zimbabwe.

The Kanondo area’s existing photographic safari operators and the Presidential Herd Conservation Project have protected the elephants by their presence and active conservation activities. Since the occupation by Elisabeth Freeman (aka Elisabeth Pasalk) and her cohorts the land, they have named "Gwango Conservancy" has been advertised as a safari destination. The land has been closed to many of the eco-tourism operators and the Presidential Elephant Conservation Project, this denial of access puts the Presidential Elephants and their protected conservation status at risk.

It is of concern that the people claiming this land have connections to other Zimbabwean nationals who are connected to hunting operations. Whilst we do not know that hunting has or will take place on the 'Gwango Conservancy', the concern for the wellbeing of the Presidential Elephants and other wildlife in this area is obvious.

Our community has contacted the Hon Minister for Environment Saviour Kasukwere with urgency in March and April 2014 in regards to this matter and no response or action has been forthcoming.

We seek your assistance as the Hon Ministers of the portfolios responsible for this issue - Lands and Rural Resettlement, and Tourism and Hospitality Industry. You are in a position to take action to address this issue in parliament and immediately enforce the Cabinet Directive of December 2013 and evict the occupiers and any staff/cohorts from the land subject to that order on the Kanondo conservation area (State land) adjacent to the Hwange NP.

Your ministries will be judged on your ability to respond to this request. The eyes of the world are watching! Obviously it is time that action is taken to the Government. This petition and all undersigned urge you to do the right thing.

With all respect and urgency, we the concerned citizens of Zimbabwe and the world (the undersigned) request that you:-

1) Take action to enforce the Cabinet Directive 2013 and evict the illegal occupiers, with all urgency to ensure the safety of the Presidential Herd and the environment of the Kanondo area.

2) Prosecute the illegal occupiers, to the full extent of the law, to ensure that all people know that individuals cannot just 'take over' State Land and ignore sensitive environmental and conservations status for their own gain.

Thank you Hon Ministers, we are counting on you, the future of this iconic Presidential Elephant Herd and their habitat is in your hands.

 

Sincerely, Looking forward to your formal reply,

 

Kenesias Dambakurima and *3700+ Zimbabwean & world citizens.

The Signatories at petition, w
ill be sent to your offices forthwith.
https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/minister-of-lands-resettlement-save-zimbabwe-presidential-elephants-now

 

Further commentary on this matter here:
http://www.tourismupdate.co.za/NewsDetails.aspx?newsId=72405

 

 

 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
17th April 2014
 
WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELEPHANTS OF ZIMBABWE?
 
It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe's agricultural industry was destroyed when the farms were confiscated from the farmers from 2000 onwards. Despite assurances that wildlife farms would not be touched, this in fact did not happen. Almost all of the wildlife farms were also confiscated and given to people who knew little or nothing about wildlife. The wildlife was very quickly slaughtered and approximately 90% of the wildlife on wildlife farms was destroyed. We were very concerned that their next move would be to destroy the animals in the National Parks areas.
 
The Presidential Elephants roam in an area called Kanondo, near Hwange National Park. A few years ago, President Mugabe promised to take these elephants under his wing and stated that nobody would ever be allowed to shoot them. Sharon Pincott has spent the past 13 years living in the area and studying these elephants. She named them and spent many hours getting to know them and she has done everything in her power to protect them. She is an Australian and sold all her belongings in Australia to move to Zimbabwe and basically "live" with these elephants. She depended on sporadic donations to do this and was always extremely short of money.
 
Sharon has now decided to throw in the towel and leave Zimbabwe for good. Kanondo has been "claimed" by a woman who calls herself Elisabeth Pasalk or Elisabeth Freeman. She claims that this land was left to her by her mother. Her brother is a hunter who sells hunts in the Matetsi area and Sharon is very concerned that the Presidential Elephants will now become the target of hunters.
 
We are disgusted that Elisabeth Pasalk/Freeman has been allowed to claim this land. Without Sharon, these elephants no longer have any protection and she has written the following passage: 
 
 
 
Who DESTROYED the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe?
(FINAL POST)   -   HOW TRAGICALLY IRONIC. The President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, proclaimed – and indeed reaffirmed 21 years later – his patronage of this special clan of elephants. Zimbabwe’s flagship herd. And it is the President’s own government officials who must now take credit for DESTROYING the entire concept of them, of general tourists’ ability to enjoy them, and of what they were meant to represent.
Those who have read my books know that at least ten of my 13 years in Zimbabwe have been a never-ending battle, fighting (and fighting and fighting, despite unbelievable accusations and events) for the welfare of the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe. There are, however, other things that you don’t yet know. You don’t know, for example, that there was once a proposal that this area be turned into a ‘Presidential Park’ – so that key things like game-drive capability amongst these elephants (to benefit the maximum number of tourists possible) could be properly managed; so that the number of, and distance between, competitor lodges could be properly and sensibly controlled; and so that those trying to underhandedly hunt could be properly dealt with. This proposal was rejected by the previous Environment Minister Francis Nhema. Under his watch, land areas were snatched and underhanded hunting activities went on, and on. When further land claim problems resurfaced in early 2013, Minister Nhema was too busy electioneering to help with my pleas. But not surprisingly when the cameras were rolling, not long prior to that, he did indeed put his face on the international ‘All the President’s Elephants’ documentary, SAYING all of the right things as usual. This documentary incidentally – showcasing the Presidential Elephants - went on to win, in the international arena, such awards as ‘Outstanding Contribution to Nature’ and to become a finalist for ‘Best Nature and Environment Protection’, in addition to receiving numerous other accolades. Did the Government of Zimbabwe even once make mention of it? Certainly not that I know of.
When Minister Saviour Kasukuwere stepped in to head the Environment Ministry last year, he initially brought with him a ray of hope that things might now improve. But sadly that didn’t last for long after his limited understanding of the Presidential Elephants and of the real issues surrounding them - which seemed to result in him being easily swayed by whoever was the flavour of the day - began to shine through. A lot more talk, and no action, became the norm. And then, there was no talk at all. Minister Kasukuwere became suspiciously quiet with regards to the State Land Kanondo land grab, when it all clearly became too hard. But before his silence, he misled at least one South African journalist – evident now in a published news article – writing to him on 6 February stating “we have withdrawn any offer letters relating to the land in question. So rest assured that the Presidential Herd will be protected. This is very important to Zimbabwe and our tourism industry.” But close to four-and-a-half months after the 3 December Cabinet directive that offer letters must be withdrawn, there is still no evidence that this has happened. (And, yes, yes, I know, I can hear all of your bellows from here: “We told you so; what else could you expect?”….)
The truth is that for the past 13 years it was only me who bothered to take any dedicated, real, unwavering, interest in The Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe. (Where were those others who were once involved, on a day-to-day basis, who had professed to care about them? Those who walked out – indeed sold out - on them years before I arrived in Zimbabwe; years before times in Zimbabwe got really tough? Those who were still happy to bask in some glory while knowing nothing of their current lives and never-ending daily family struggles and losses.) Unlike others, I was one of only a handful who had no monetary interest in them. And sadly, I was the only person who even noticed when ‘Lady’ – who had become the most renowned of the Presidential Elephants, immortalised in my books and in the television documentary – disappeared for good. Although her body was never found (something that does happen heartbreakingly often in the thick Hwange bush), I feel sure she was shot; her family still devastated and torn apart. She was the most high-profile of many who were lost. Who will notice when others go missing in the future? The answer to that question is nobody. Nobody will notice. Nobody will care.
The truth is, it’s all been something of a joke; something that was taken less and less seriously by those in Government as time passed (except, sure enough, when those cameras were rolling). It was a joke that has now been allowed by the very Government who proclaimed their status, to turn into an embarrassment, a disgrace, a complete farce. The Zimbabwe Government now treats this land as if it is little individually-owned plots to grow mealies on, with no regard whatsoever for the ongoing, long-term, welfare of these elephants as a whole. And with no concern about tourists being able to come and to easily arrange a decent lodge game-drive amongst them. When my draft of the 2011 Presidential Decree Reaffirmation was edited by Government, they couldn’t even get the location of these elephants correct! (A mistake that remains on the Decree Reaffirmation certificates today.) Now they simply allow land-grabbers in to these very areas to destroy the very heart of it all. Under Minister Nhema’s watch we lost forever one area, and then another. But at least these were on an outer edge of the key area. Then it got much worse. Under Minister Kasukuwere’s watch, we have now lost yet another; the most critical of them all. What we have now is little plots of land, where questionable individuals are being allowed to do as they please, destroying past processes and efforts (that were particularly intense over the past 12 months). That this has been allowed to happen shows just how ‘important’ the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe are to the Government.
One of the mega rich of Zimbabwe’s ministers is ex-Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu. In another land grab case, he claimed as his own this exact piece of Kanondo land (and more) in 2003. He was actually evicted in 2005 and the land was back once again to being what it had been, Presidential Elephant game-drive land that benefitted many. The Government at least got this right. But many wonder if this, now, is Minister Mpofu or his side-kicks back in disguise. How else did the Lands Ministry ever dare to allocate this land a second time, and still today get away with not correcting their mistake?
What too of the donors who have assisted these Presidential Elephant land areas in the past – on assurances that they were protected areas - only for their contributions to then benefit these land claimants? No donor should ever take the chance of assisting again in these outside, clearly now insecure, areas.
Perhaps some will now scramble and propose the use of academic researchers to try to replace my efforts. But my years in Zimbabwe have taught me - certainly not always, but far too often – that many individual academic researchers in this country tend to show interest only in their own academic advancement for short-term studies, and more often than not stay a few months or perhaps a few years part-time (and indeed sometimes only a few weeks) before moving on elsewhere or going back to their universities, and to their normal lives. They have no interest, or time, to get to know wild elephants intimately or to care sincerely about what happens to them. Instead they might throw on a few grossly huge, ugly and intrusive elephant radio collars (which they often then fail to ever take off), and sit in offices downloading data from satellites, doing one study or another, and only contributing to the piles of dusty papers that sit on the high shelves of academic libraries, that so very few people ever choose to read. That’s how they profess to then know and care about elephants. And that is certainly not what The Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe have ever stood for, nor what they need to survive. Academia and dedicated conservation efforts are very different things in an environment such as this.
Things will go on, though, just like they always do, after any death or tragedy. And there will be those who will crudely abuse elephant relationships that I spent over a decade restoring (after such awful unrest in these areas during the first lot of damaging land claims back in the early 2000s), as well as the many other unique relationships that I built anew. And photographs of friendly elephants will continue to be taken and published. But the lost decade of intimate knowledge and deep understanding, of Presidential Elephant families and family trees, of unique care and truly profound relationships, of dedicated efforts for awareness, of snared elephants saved with their progress closely monitored, and of so many other things, can never be recovered. Just as tragically, the uninformed and inexperienced new-comers will probably claim that tourists can still come (but note, only ever with restrictive accommodation conditions attached), and get on game-drives amongst the farce that is now ‘The Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe’ in (grabbed) land areas – when the sad reality is, they don’t even know what they’re looking at. To them, it is all just a blur of grey; carelessly calling them all ‘Presidential Elephants’, merely trying to cash in. And under-handed hunting activity will no doubt continue to go on.
These people – along with some of the Ruling Party’s responsible government officials – show no care, and have no clue.
Indeed some of these very same individuals (clearly a malicious attempt to deflect focus from themselves and their own dubious doings) have apparently now – since the advent of this Kanondo claimant – begun accusing me of living the high life off the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe! It is not even worth time defending myself over such ignorant and spiteful allegations. Those who have bothered to understand all that was achieved, know of what I once had and sold in Australia to be able to do what I’ve done for these elephants over the past 13 years, and just how very many personal sacrifices I made over the course of these years. And they know, too, all that I’ve offered on a complimentary basis, and just what I’ve had to put up with in return. It is, though, simply incomprehensible to so many in a country such as Zimbabwe - where greed and corruption has already been publicly exposed and acknowledged - that someone would spend their own time and money in this way.
I cannot allow myself to be linked to such new depths of collusion and cluelessness. I cannot keep hitting my head against a brick wall, year after year after year after year, with lack of care and lack of respect and understanding of these elephants growing and growing - despite all the efforts - like an invasive weed over a pond, smothering everything. This is now a country where even a high-level Cabinet directive to remove the land claimants can simply be ignored; where there is no accountability, and where months of ongoing damaging delays don’t seem to matter to anyone in Government - and that surely says a lot in itself. Any level of trust and respect that I might have once had, is now completely shattered. I know there will be some who will not understand my decision to go on to do other things, but they have not been through it all themselves, day after day, year after year after year, not comprehending what it is to be bone, bone, tired of it all.
There are others in Zimbabwe who will continue their own fight, for their own reasons, against this destructive Kanondo land grab in this key tourism area; the beginning of what could be a complete disaster for Zimbabwe’s tourism industry in general, if allowed to go on and indeed happen again, elsewhere. Or perhaps the Government doesn’t care about that either?
As for the elephants, I take pride in the fact that I dedicated to them 13 long years - even if right now they can no longer be considered (by any rational person) to actually exist as a flagship herd, in any credible form. I can only hope, now, that they become one with Hwange’s general elephant population, finding safety INSIDE the boundaries of the better secured Hwange National Park, as they have done before in tragic times.
I wish them Godspeed.
(by Sharon Pincott, April 2014)
 
ELEPHANT KILLED
 
We have just received a report of an elephant carcass seen in the back of a truck in Harare. We suspect this elephant was killed to feed the people attending the Independence Celebrations because as we have seen in previous years, elephants are always killed for this purpose. The following photo was taken:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
14th March 2014
 
 
BABY ELEPHANTS BEING SOLD TO CHINA
 
We have received a very disturbing report that an Australian man in collaboration with a Zimbabwean is currently searching for baby elephants in order to sell them to Chinese zoos. We are withholding their names pending further investigations.
 
VIOLENT INVASION OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION FARM
 
Denlynian, a conservation farm in the Beit Bridge district of Zimbabwe has been the target of illegal invasions for several years now.
 
In October last year, the invaders violently evicted all the company staff as well as a group of Polish Safari clients. They took occupation of the staff quarters and went on a looting spree, asset stripping the property and slaughtering the wildlife. The Messenger of the Court in Beit Bridge approached the Officer in Charge of Beit Bridge rural to seek a police escort to effect the Warrant of Ejection issued by the High Court in 771/2010. The eviction of the invaders was carried out satisfactorily on the 4th February 2014.
 
The farm owner's daughter in law was on her way out of the property on the 8th February 2014 when her car got stuck in the mud. While she was waiting for assistance a large group of people approached her in 3 vehicles. The leader of the group claimed to be the Lands Officer and said that the farm owner's family had no right to be on the property and that the daughter in law was trespassing. He was extremely rude, aggressive and intimidatory and said that he was soon going to settle 75 people on the property.
 
The court order issued in October 2010 stated "Ministry of Lands are interdicted from taking any steps to cause any person to occupy the farm or to hinder or disturb the Applicant in his occupation thereof." It further stated " the companies are entitled to remain on the properties in peaceful and undisturbed
possession of the properties and further entitled to continue their safari and hunting operations on the property."
 
In a meeting with their lawyer, the Lands Officer, who had previously been served with the court order didn't have the vaguest understanding of the provisions of the court order. He admitted that he had issued new offer letters and had authorised the invasion of the properties. He further admitted that he had organised the re-invasion group who had harrassed the owner's daughter in law.
 
A man who owns the mortuaries in Beit Bridge and Gwanda is now building a resort on the property and it is rumoured that he is also building a golf course. It is alleged that this is a joint venture with Kembo Mahade, the Minister of Home Affairs.
 
PROBLEMS AT KANONDO
 
A woman who calls herself either Elisabeth Pasalk or Elisabeth Freeman has claimed Kanondo in Hwange, which is the home range of the Presidential Elephant Herd. She has advertised on her Kanondo Lodge internet site, 7 day trips to Africa. According to a reliable source, nobody ever spends 7 days at an expensive photographic safari lodge. The most they would stay is about 2 or 3 days and our source strongly suspects that this is a hunting lodge, not a photographic lodge. She is also preventing photographic safari vehicles from driving in the area.
 
Her internet link states the following:
 
 
August 27, 2013 in Bargain Hunts by Hunting Legends
If you’re still looking for that once in a life time hunting opportunity in a NO FENCE area, then look no further!
Hunting Legends is proud to announce that we have secured unique hunting opportunities in the well known Matetsi One Conservancy area in Zimbabwe. With the help and assistance of our friends and concession operators Rodger Madangure, his wife Gaynor and sister Elisabeth Freeman (USA based), we now can offer you access to certainly one of the most prestigious hunting concessions in all Africa.
Matetsi Unit 1 provides top quality hunts for dangerous game and plains game in an unfenced free-range environment. The safari area spans in excess of 99000 acres situated in north-western Zimbabwe close to the famous Victoria Falls. It is one of the best-known and most established safari hunting areas in all of Zimbabwe with the Hwange National Park to the south and the Zambezi River to the north.
 
The main concern is the safety of the Presidential Herd.
 
COAL MINING IN THE GWAYI VALLEY
We are very concerned about the article below. If the projects mentioned go ahead, this could pose a far greater threat to the Zimbabwean ecosystems, wildlife and tourim industry than anything so far.
  
The potential environmental and socio-economic effects of constructing the infrastructure; doing the mining (opencast and underground); sourcing methane gas (fracking) and operating the three or four power stations are varied, vast and are likely to affect the whole of the Hwange National Park, Kaza TFCA and all the water sources leading into the Zambezi from that region. Everyone involved in conservation, tourism and sustainable development needs to take this very seriously. If the past is anything to go by, the jobs created by these projects will be filled mainly by Chinese people.
 
www.newzimbabwe.com 15 March 2014

CHINA Africa Sunlight Energy says it will complete its coal mine and a 300 megawatt power station at its concessions in Gwayi, Matabeleland North by 2016, creating over 4,500 jobs.

Addressing delegates at a Parliament seminar on Thursday, the company’s deputy general manager Charles Mugari said as part of the first phase of the project, the company will build a modern residential complex for 2,000 workers, a coal mine and power plant.

“By 2016 we hope that the mine will be up and running,” he said, adding that the company was converting its special grant to a special mining right.

He said second phase of the power project will focus on methane gas extraction and another 300MW plant to be completed in mid-2017. The company intends to establish another 400MW plant powered by methane gas.

China Africa is a 50/50 joint venture between Zimbabwe’s Old Stone Investments and Shandong Taishan Sunlight of China, plans to spend $2.1 billion in the next five years on power generation, coal mining and methane bed gas extraction in Matabeleland north.

“We have embarked on a very comprehensive exploration process and by end of this year we will know exactly the minable reserves of methane gas,” he said.

Mugari said the projects, which would be carried out on 100,000 hectares of land would create 4,500 jobs in the next two years in a country where over 80 percent of the adult working population is unemployed.

The company is also planning to build hotels and business complexes.

“This is going to be the beginning of the creation of an economic zone which will attract more foreign direct investment,” he said.

China Africa will also establish a coking plant for coal required in processing of steel.

Mugari said they had entered into a power purchasing agreement with Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) although tariffs were being finalised.

A transmission arrangement with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority had also been agreed upon.

“We have also completed our environment impact assessment for the mine and right now we are working on the EIA for the power generation and the documents are with the Environment Management Agency,” he said.

The company is also working with the water ministry to assist in the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani dam which it seeks to benefit from.

Mugari urged Parliament to come up with conducive legislation that encourages foreign direct investment and for government to harmonise its licencing regulations.

On Wednesday another company, Shangani Energy Exploration (SEE), said it has plans for $780 million gas project and build a 400 megawatt power station in the same area.

 
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

 

matusadona_eles_3.jpg

17th January 2014

 

NEW YEAR'S PARTY IN CHARARA

 

Despite all our previous attempts to put a stop to this party, it took place as usual. It lasted for 3 nights of continuous loud disco music.

 

During that period, we received a phone call from Charara advising us that the party goers were once again teasing the elephants. We are not sure how many elephants were involved but they were apparently shot with a paint ball gun and 2 vehicles were damaged. We contacted KAWFT in Kariba and asked them to please check out the situation and ask the police to get involved. A while later, we received another phone call to say that the police went to Charara to warn the youngsters to leave the elephants alone so thanks very much to KAWFT and the police for preventing another tragedy from happening.

 

ANOTHER RHINO SHOT

 

Shortly after Christmas, a black rhino was shot at Midlands Conservancy and the horn was removed.

 

The man suspected of being responsible for this atrocity was a worker at Bemthree Ranch who was recently fired from his job.

 

2 ELEPHANTS SHOT IN MATUSADONA

 

Some holiday makers over the Christmas period saw the remains of 2 elephants that had been shot between Spurwing and Palm Bay. The tusks had been removed.

matusadona_eles_3.jpg

matusadona_eles_3.jpg

 
 
21st November 2013
 
NUMBERS OF ELEPHANTS DEAD FROM CYANIDE POISONING
 
We have received conflicting figures of the number of elephants that have died of cyanide poisoning. According to one report, in July a group of people flew over Tsholotsho and counted 300 carcasses. A statement issued by the Parks and Wildlife Authority showed that a total of 149 elephants have been poisoned from February this year. In a third report, a group flew over Hwange National Park and counted 84 carcasses, although this group didn't cover the whole park. We believe National Parks have been burning and/or burying the carcasses so this might account for the difference in the figures.
 
A former Zimbabwe Republican Police Officer, together with 4 villagers poisoned 23 elephants using cyanide. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison for disposing hazardous substances and illegal possession of ivory. His accomplices, Sikhumbuzo Sibindi and Elvis Nkomo were also sentenced to 4 years in prison each for violating sections of the Environmental Management Act. Mkhululi Ncube and Johannes Munkombwe each received a 10 year prison sentence. They were also ordered to pay Parks and Wildlife Authority $850 000 in compensation for the 20 elephants they killed.
 
WHITE RHINOS SHOT IN MATOPAS
 
Just over 2 weeks ago, 2 white rhinos were shot in the protected Matopas National Park. The rhinos had previously been dehorned but the poachers removed the remaining stubs.
 
SOUTH AFRICAN HUNTERS
 
We have received reports of South African hunters hunting unethically in Chizarira National Park, Hwange and the Zambesi Valley.
 
CHIREZI CONSERVANCY INVADED
 
The Chiredzi Conservancy has been invaded for the fourth time since 2002. Five thieves, who were arrested, broke into the Safari Hunting Lodge and stole a considerable amount of goods. Amongst the items stolen were all the bedding linen, matresses, towels, crockery and glasses. The five who were arrested claimed that they didn't break into the lodge. They said they stole the goods from the invaders who were the real culprits. These invaders are the same people who have trashed the safari lodges, asset stripped the property and slaughtered the wildlife with impunity over the past 12 years. This all took place under police protection and the crimes were passed off as political acts and therefore were not considered to be a crime.
 
The main invaders are Rambelani Choeni, Remember Ndou, Julias Seziba, Jule Muleya, Elphias Seziba, Steven Mahade, and the notorious Obias Ndou a habitual criminal who is known as King Gogo wa de Patswa meaning King of the Thieves.
 
Despite keeping the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Tourism and National Parks fully informed of the violent invasion, there has not been the slightest indication of any form of intervention whatsoever. This is in complete contrast to 2010 when the late Vitalis Chadenga, Director General of National Parks travelled to Beit Bridge and personally evicted the invaders from the property.
 
 
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

 

Poachers poison 90 elephants with cyanide in Zimbabwe wildlife park

 

(HARARE, Zimbabwe) — Zimbabwean police say they arrested six men accused of killing 41 elephants with cyanide.

State media reported Friday that police official Muyambirwa Muzzah said rangers followed the tracks in the southwestern Hwange National Park that led to several elephant carcasses.

Muzzah said a cache of tusks, worth $120,000 on the illegal ivory market, and other remains were found near water holes that had been laced with cyanide. He said the six were arrested when they returned to collect the ivory and they are suspected of operating from the western city of Bulawayo.



Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/09/06/zimbabwe-6-arrested-for-poisoning-41-elephants/#ixzz2eWceZZbQ

 
22nd August 2013
 
PARKS RELOCATES WILDLIFE TO VIC FALLS
 
The government has started relocating hundreds of wild animals from Save Valley Conservancy in Masvingo to beef up the animal populations in Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly scheduled for this weekend. National Parks has been mandated to relocate 151 wildebeests, 25 eland, 60 zebras, 100 impalas and 10 giraffes.
 
National Parks apparently haven't had enough funds to pay their employees' wages for the past 3 or 4 months so we wonder how they can afford to move these animals. We also find it strange that Parks are always claiming that Zimbabwe has an abundance of animals so if this is true, why is it necessary to move all these animals to Victoria Falls where the delegates of the UNWTO will be able to see them?
 
PAYMENT FOR HUNTING OF ANIMALS AND FISH
 
According to National Parks Statutory Instrument 56 of 2012, a schedule of prices for hunting animals and fish has been issued. This schedule lists practically every animal in Zimbabwe, even bush baby and rhino. We wonder who would want to hunt a bush baby and how would they do it? Does one shoot a bush baby? We have a copy of the schedule if anyone would like to see it.
 
ZIMBABWEAN ELEPHANT POPULATION???
 
Earlier on in the year, an article appeared in a Zimbabwean newspaper stating that the elephant population was around 45 000. Now, just a few days ago, another article appeared in the Zimbabwean Financial Gazette claiming that Zimbabwe has around 100 000 elephants. This is all part of their appeal to be allowed to sell ivory. We find it quite incredible that the population can have escalated from 45 000 to 100 000 in a few months!
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

 

 

156082_4479291268908_1743597614_n-300x200.jpg

http://www.zctfofficialsite.org/

 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
24th June 2013
 
2 ELEPHANTS SHOT IN MARONDERA
 
At the beginning of last week, we received a report from a farmer in Marondera that 2 female elephants were on her farm eating her barley crop. We heard that National Parks intended to shoot the elephants before they injured someone so we asked them to please give us a chance to try and relocate them. They agreed to wait a couple of days so we set about trying to organise the relocation.
 

 
Keith Dutlow and Lisa Marabini of AWARE Trust very kindly offered to dart the elephants, using their own tranquiliser free of charge. They also offered a donation of USD1 000 towards the costs. The next problem was to decide where to take the elephants and we asked Hamish Rudland, who already has 13 elephants in the Umfurudzi, if we could take them there. He agreed and offered us a 30 ton truck to move the elephants.
 
We also needed a high-up crane to load the elephant crates and the elephants and a dangler trailer to facilitate the loading. We approached a local crane hire company to ask for a quote to hire their crane. They estimated the cost at around USD4 000 and wanted the money up front. This was a major problem for us because we had intended to do the relocation and then put out an appeal for the funds afterwards. We explained the situation to them but they wouldn't budge which greatly disappointed us. National Parks have their own relocation unit but it seems they only use it to move animals which are to be exported. We managed to find a dangler trailer but it was only available on Tuesday this week.
 
We were then informed by Hamish Rudland that he had changed his mind about taking the elephants at Umfurudzi because he didn't want these 2 wild elephants mixing with his domesticated ones. We now had the added problem of a truck to move the elephants. Alro Shipping came forward and offered us a truck free of charge. We are extremely grateful to Alro who have often come forward to help us, never asking for any payment.
 
A big thank you to Riley Travers of Imire who spent 4 days continuously tracking an monitoring the elephants. We asked Riley to appeal to Marondera National Parks to give us until Tuesday this week to relocate the elephants. They weren't keen and seemed desperate to shoot them. In view of all the problems we were facing, we felt the best option would be to fire shots into the air to try and force the elephants to go back to the North, where they came from but National Parks refused to do this, stating that it would be too dangerous.
 
Sadly, we heard yesterday that the elephants had moved to within 2 km of Marondera town and National Parks shot them, fearing that they would hurt someone.
 
We are very disappointed in National Parks and in certain Zimbabwean companies who put money before the welfare of our wildlife. We have now lost 2 young elephants who had their whole lives ahead of them.  
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
20th May 2013
PROBLEMS IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
We are extremely disturbed by reports from concerned tourists of gunfire being heard in Hwange tourist areas. Investigations have uncovered that there appears to be sport hunting quotas approved by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in areas that should never have them. The chances of tourists going to lodges around the Main Camp section of Hwange National Park and hearing gunfire are once again high and we urge all tourists, local and international, to continue to report all gunfire heard. The Parks Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources have reneged on guarantees made in previous years especially it would seem in the area of the Presidential elephants of Zimbabwe, and in at least one case they are believed to have reinstated a hunting quota on land so narrow there is no possibility of any wildlife actually being resident there, bordering two prime photographic safari camps, previously declared a no-hunting area when chaos prevailed in this area about eight years ago. At least one other hunting quota is said to have been issued in another nearby prime tourism site. When people's backs are turned underhanded things continue to happen involving people who have solid government connections. We are also hearing unconfirmed reports that paying overseas hunters are once again, as did happen in previous years despite denials by the wildlife authorities, being allowed inside Hwange National Park to hunt.
With the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organisation summit in August, we fail to see how Zimbabwe can hold their head high remembering also the awful scenario we reported previously about elephants being shipped off to horrific conditions in China. We urge the Tourism Minister to get involved to put pressure on the Environment Minister to fix escalating problems in Hwange photographic tourism areas. These problems also include mining plans reported in areas right beside Hwange Main Camp which are obviously born out of disrespect for the environment and pure greed and disrespect for Hwange's important photographic tourism industry. It is a tragedy that we have received confirmed reports that the most widely known and read about presidential elephant is dead, making a mockery of the government's supposed commitment to providing special protection to these photographic safari areas where Zimbabwe's flagship herd roams. We are aware that this elephant was known to tens of thousands of people around the world and anyone reading the literature available can work out that she was not of an age where she would die naturally. It is past time that the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources look after the wildlife that they are tasked to protect rather than assisting in its destruction, especially in such an important tourism area as Hwange and we are appalled that no progress in fixing any of the problems is evident.
SILENT AUCTION
The painting which we are auctioning to raise funds is still available. The closing date will be 30th June 2013.
The painting, titled "Young Warrior" is an original oil on canvas painted by Cheryl Rodrigues and measures 77cm x 90cm. There is a reserve price of USD2 000. If anyone can offer more than this, please email us with your offer. Any shipping charges will be for the account of the buyer.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
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        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
9th April 2013
 
LION ATTACKS IN KARIBA
 
Last month, 3 people were killed by lions in Kariba. The problem in Kariba is that the smaller plains game is almost non existent due to poaching. This means it is very difficult for the predators to find food. A lioness recently attacked and killed 2 Africans in a township near Kariba town. She and her 2 eighteen month old cubs fed on one of the victims. A few days later, a young African man and his girlfriend went off into the bush to partake in some afternoon delights and were attacked by the lioness whilst doing so. The girlfriend was killed and the man ran off in terror wearing nothing but a condom. The police and National Parks, fearing the consequences of the lions having tasted human blood, killed the 3 lions.
 
There were apparently another 4 fully grown male lions in the pride which are still roaming the area.
We are now very concerned that the remaining 4 lions will also be killed by National Parks and we would like to try and move them to a less populated area like Matusadona or Mana Pools. In order to do this, we need to raise in the region of USD7 000 and to assist with fundraising, we are doing a silent auction of the painting below.
 
The painting, titled "Young Warrior" is an original oil on canvas painted by Cheryl Rodrigues and measures 77cm x 90cm. There is a reserve price of USD2 000. If anyone can offer more than this, please email us with your offer. Any shipping charges will be for the account of the buyer.                                        
 
 
 

YoungWarrior.JPG
Painting "Young Warrior"

 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us. Edit Text

ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
4 January 2013
UPDATE ON ELEPHANTS EXPORTED TO CHINA
Further to our December report on the 4 elephants exported to China, we have received an email from Animals Asia Foundation who claim to have a number of volunteers monitoring the progress of the elephants. They say that the 4 elephants arrived at the end of November 2012. Two went to Taiyuan Zoo, one of which has subsequently died. The other two reportedly went to Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park. They sent us the photos below of the surviving elephant at Taiyuan Zoo. We are saddened and disgusted that these elephants have been removed from their mothers and the African bush to live alone in a cold unfriendly jail cell in a foreign country. We believe the temperature at the Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park is less than 20 degrees Celcius below zero. It is highly unlikely the elephants will survive in the cold when they have been accustomed to temperatures of between 30 and 40 degrees.
There are apparently still another 14 elephants waiting to be exported and we have to try and stop this from happening. Please help us by spreading the word about this cruel and disgusting practise.
We have been told that a lady by the name of Candy has been involved in the exportation of the elephants. Her phone number is 27 826 768 968.
FOUR RHINOS KILLED BY POACHERS
On New Years Day, 4 white rhino were killed by poachers on Thetford Estate in the Northern Mazowe District despite the fact that the estate is securely fenced and guarded. The dead rhino were 2 adult males, an adult female and a sub-adult male. Eight horns taken from the carcasses were recovered.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

 

 

 

 

ele3.JPG

ele3.JPG

ele3.JPG

 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
24th November 2012
 

RETRACTION AND APOLOGY

 

Last month we circulated a report concerning the destruction of wetlands in Harare. In that report we stated that Ken Sharpe in conjunction with an international Christian organisation and Kentucky Fried Chicken intends to build a conference facility and theme park on wetlands in Meyrick Park and an enormous shopping centre on wetlands in Borrowdale. These statements were based on information which we were given by a source whom we considered on past experience to be reliable. However, we have since been informed by Kentucky Fried Chicken that it has no involvement whatsoever in the plans to develop the wetlands in Meyrick Park and Borrowdale.

 

On receipt of this advice from Kentucky Fried Chicken we went back to the source of the information and he was unable to back up the information he had previously given us with any evidence. We accept that Kentucky Fried Chicken has no involvement in the plans to develop the Meyrick Park and Borrowdale wetlands.

 

We therefore retract the allegation previously made against Kentucky Fried Chicken and are sending out this report to correct the erroneous information which we previously published. We apologise sincerely to Kentucky Fried Chicken and regret any embarrassment caused by the incorrect report.

 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
3rd November 2012
 
URGENT APPEAL
 
Several months ago, we circulated a report about a baby elephant that was rescued on the Kariba road. The elephant, Kunda was given to Debbie and Gordon Putterill of Mwanga Lodge to try and hand rear. Sadly, Kunda contracted pneumonia and died.
 
Debbie and Gordon have now asked for our assistance because 2.5 kilometres of 14 strand game fencing has been stolen from their game reserve and a number of animals have already escaped. They have obtained a quotation to replace the fencing and the amount they are trying to raise is USD8 640.00.
 
This is a very urgent matter because the longer the fence remains in a state of disrepair, the more animals will escape and they will become a prime target for poachers once they leave the safety of the game reserve. If anyone can help either with funds or with the fencing itself, please contact us immediately. We would be most grateful to anyone who can assist.
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
11th October 2012
THE DESTRUCTION OF HARARE'S WETLANDS
Whether it is due to greed, carelessness or just plain ignorance, the Zimbabwean authorities seem to turn a blind eye to the destruction of every aspect of the natural environment. Over 60% of our wildlife has been eliminated, millions of acres of trees have been chopped down, dry river beds have been damaged by gold panners and now, one by one, our precious wetlands are falling victim to this destruction.
Harare's wetlands play a very vital role in providing the City's water source. Everybody is aware of the severe water shortages we have been facing and this is made worse by the destruction of the wetlands.
Harare's major water source originates from the vleis and open green spaces around the city, many of which are now being destroyed by development, pollution and informal urban agriculture. A vlei is am important type of wetland. It is a low-lying, marshy grassland, covered with water during the rainy season, and even though it may seem to be dry during the winter season and droughts, it is actually storing water under the ground which it releases slowly into the streams and rivers.  
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is apparently fully aware of the vital role of wetlands for Harare's future survival because the minister declared 26 of these areas protected. This was gazetted on 27th July 2012.
Mr Ken Sharpe Jnr was contracted to build a new highway leading to Harare International Airport. The construction of the highway has been ongoing for quite some time now but the authorities are unable to pay Mr Sharpe for the work he has done. In lieu of payment, he has been given Warren Hills Golf Course where it is alleged that he plans to build a 5 star hotel. He has also been given the wetlands which constitutes about 21 hectares of land at the corner of Princes Road and Sherwood Drive in Meyrick Park. This has caused a huge outcry among conservationists because in conjunction with an International Christian Ministry and Kentucky Fried Chicken, he intends to build a conference facility and theme park. The servicing of this land will destroy the vital wetland. The conference facility will have a seating capacity of up to 10 000 and will include offices, a recording studio, bookshop and library. A sporting facility will also be constructed to provide recreational activities. Construction activities are confined to 3,6 hectares but the balance of the land, approximately 18 hectares will be converted to a theme park.
In addition to this, Mr Sharpe has also been given the wetlands in Borrowdale behind Dandaro Village where it is alleged that he plans to build the biggest shopping mall in Africa in partnership with the International Christian Ministry and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
If these projects are allowed to proceed, it will mean the destruction of these very vital wetlands which supply precious water to Lakes Chivero and Manyame - in other words our drinking water. In addition to this, the wetlands support a wide range of organisms from aquatic invertebrates to fish, birds, reptiles and mammals. As usual, it is all about making money. If the Christian Ministry has enough money to partake in this construction, we wonder why they don't put their money to better use and help to feed the millions of Zimbabweans who are starving or improve their medical and educational facilities.
Although the go-ahead for these projects has already been granted, the general public is quite entitled to object to this development taking place and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to email their objections to the Environmental Management Agency - ema@ema.co.zw. We need to jealously guard any existing wetlands because if these are destroyed, it will be a case of "no wetlands - no water." Let's all work together to keep our wetlands intact.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

painted_dog.JPG
Poisoned leopard.

ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
15th August 2012
PROPOSED MINING PROJECT IN MANA POOLS
We have learned, from a special bulletin issued by the Zambezi Society, that Habbard Investments (Pvt) Ltd proposes to undertake mineral exploration along the Rukomechi and Chewore Rivers in Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore Game Reserves in the Zambezi Valley. Prospecting licences have been granted to GeoAssociates, a locally owned company to undertake exploration activities for Heavy Mineral Sand Deposits. They have external partners who have insisted that an Environmental Impact Assessment be done.
The proposed mine will be in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a site that includes Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas. Its status as a World Heritage Site means that it is a property of Outstanding Universal Value because of its cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance to present and future generations of all humanity. As such, the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest importance, not only to Zimbabweans but to the international community as a whole.
The Zambezi Society intends to engage other organisations who are objecting to the mining development to form a group of even bigger impact. Please could any organisations who wish to join forces with them email them at zamsoc@gmail.com.
RHINOS KILLED IN SOUTH AFRICA
281 rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa so far this year. The worst hit has been the Kruger National Park where 164 have been killed. 176 people have been arrested since January in connection with the rhino poaching.
SAVULI RANCH TAKEN OVER BY WAR VET
A female war vet named Shuvai Mahofa has taken over Savuli Ranch in Save Valley Conservancy. She claims to have a legal lease on the property issued by National Parks, who apparently are not entitled to issue leases on conservancy properties. However, the High Court of Zimbabwe has ruled that the legal owners and operators of Savuli, Forever African Safaris, should continue operations on Savuli and should not be interfered with.
In contempt of the High Court decision, Mahofa has evicted Forever African Safaris and their employees, trashed their belongings and thrown their furniture out on the road. In the meantime, Mr Ken Drummond has moved onto the property and is operating under the name of Impala Safaris. They are operating on a quota issued to Mahofa which has 5 lion on it, which is more than the entire Save Valley Conservancy and Savuli only forms a very small part of this.
Drummond is now posting pictures of the Savuli Camp and of several impressive trophies on the website of Impala Safaris, www.impalasafaris.com which is owned and run by Arnold Palmer. The website names several hunters who have taken impressive trophies on the property. It is suspected that some of the hunters who have hunted on Savuli are US citizens and they are quite likely unaware that their hunts have been illegal. We would like to inform any prospective clients that Arnold Palmer, Ken Drummond, Tikki Drummond and Impala Safaris are acting completely illegally. This is the opinion of the High Court of Zimbabwe set down in their recent judgement. Sadly, their judgement has been completely ignored and the wholesale slaughter of animals on Savuli continues. The National Parks contingent on Savuli have shot sable, nyala, buffalo and kudu for rations and Mahofa's brother has been seen regularly in Chiredzi selling game meat in plain sight of police who take no action.
PRESIDENTIAL HERD IN JEOPARDY
There has been constant talk of proposed mining activities to take place in the photographic tourism/wildlife area bordering the Hwange National Park where the Presidential Elephants roam. Some areas have already been pegged for coal and diamond mines. President Mugabe re-pledged to protect these elephants in May 2011. If this mining is allowed to go ahead, the area will be defaced by huge craters, increased traffic, pollution and additional people. The wildlife cannot survive this sort of human impact and greed.

Notugre Wild Dog Poisoning

(Notugre is a conservation area near the Tuli Block)Recent illegal activities inside Notugre have resulted in thetermination of the last remaining wild dogs. With the death oftwo wild dogs at Talana Farm still fresh in our minds (20th May2012), the last remaining pack members, including the alphafemale, has been poisoned by local Motswana men on the 6th ofJuly 2012.

During the end of June 2012 the alpha female of the pack started showing signs of pregnancy. The packthen settled in the northern section of Luenza property in what looked like a possible denning area. Aroundthe 4th & 5th of July the female gave birth. Number and sex of pups were unknown. Tragically on the 6th ofJuly two men from a nearby cattle post walked into the den site and laced carcasses with highlypoisonous Temic in a deliberate attempt to kill these carnivores.After investigation of the site, two wild dogs,a large male leopard, African wild cat
and an African Hawk Eagle was found deadwithin a 70m radius of the den. Animpala - and a goat carcass was found lacedwith Temic. The goat carcass wasfound high up in a Leadwood tree, cached bya leopard. The spoor of the cat was quicklytraced and the body of the leopard found not30m away. The tracks of two men were easilytraced back to a nearby cattle post andapprehended.Reports indicate that these men apparentlylost two goats to predators on the 5th of July2012, possibly by the wild dog pack, but itcould also be from spotted hyaenas.The men then returned back to their cattlepost to fetch Temic-poison, which theyapparently bought from someone at TalanaFarm. The men then went back to the twogoat carcasses and carried it closer to theden site, which they admitted knowing wasthere. They were also after a large maleleopard, which they knew were walkingalong a specific drainage line, close to theden. They then laced both carcasses withTemic but then found the remains of animpala carcass close to the den, which they


then also laced. What happened next is what we could figure out from tracks and spoor. The male leopard walked along thedrainage line and found one of the goat carcasses. It then dragged it to the nearest tree and cached it upthere. While the leopard was feeding on this poisoned carcass, the wild dogs then returned to their den,having been scared off by these poachers, and presumable fed on the last remaining poisoned scraps of theimpala carcass. Needless to say, every animal that fed on these carcasses died within 30m of each. Theseinclude the African Hawk Eagle and African wild cat. These are only the animals we could find and it isbelieved that there could be more dead predators in the surrounding area.

Regarding the pups, I personally crawled into the den with a torch to search for any pups, but I found none.The second poisoned goat carcass was apparently burned by these culprits, on hearing the commotion ofvehicles from their crime scene.What will happen to these men? Will the penalties for these poachers be severe enough, or will they justget a slap-on-the-wrist from the authorities? They are both between the ages of 24 to 26 and live with theirparents at this cattle post. It'slocated just north of the LentsweLe Moriti four ways crossing.

Whatmakes matters ever worse is thatin 2007, Rex Masupe fromMashatu Anti-poaching, found adead cheetah at this cattle post.Killed by this same family.You have to wonder, how longhave these people been poisoningand killing our carnivores? Thisright under our noses. In 2008 asingle lioness was found deadalong the main road past thiscattle post. Cause of death waspoisoning. Furthermore, in 2010,between 4 to 5 spotted hyaenas and one leopard carcass was found scattered along the main road past thissame cattle post - all carcasses were poisoned. Coincidence, I think not...

This senseless act of hatred towards carnivores is a major setback and waste of countless hours of research,financial support, political backup and commercial publicity and marketing. If people are going to live insideNotugre with livestock, our predators are in serious peril. They will not survive. If not for the use of GPScollars, we would have never known the fate of these animals. How many more do we not even knowabout? It was Armageddon for the wild dogs. What's next, our lions? Cheetah?

Regards,

Andrei Snyman

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


 

 

 

 

 

painted_dog.JPG
Poisoned dog.

ZCTF July 2012 Report


 

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

 
6th July 2012
 
MANHUNT FOR POACHERS
6 suspected armed poachers were cornered by 2 game rangers at Robins Camp in Hwange National park last week. The poachers managed to escape leaving 22 elephant tusks at the scene. The rangers opened fire on them which resulted in an exchange of gunfire.

Police and rangers have been deployed from Sinamatella and Main Camp to look for carcasses in the national park area and also to try and track down the poachers.
 
CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY INVADED
About 500 Zanu PF supporters recently invaded Ruware Ranch, one of the richest wildlife sanctuaries in the Lowveld. Ruware Ranch is part of the Chiredzi River Conservancy. The invaders, led by a war veteran known as Comrade Shorty, were reportedly accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement. Shorty stated that they were not invading the land. He said it was acquired through the Ministry of Lands 12 years ago and was just waiting for redistribution. A source in the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement said that they had been pressured by top government officials to distribute the land ahead of the elections. An MDC Member of Parliament stated it was a tactic used by Zanu PF for buying votes through land distribution, violence and rigging. He also questioned the logic of distributing that land 12 years after it had allegedly been acquired.
 
CHINESE MINING IN GWAYI
Chinese mining firms have sprouted in the wildlife area, extracting coal and prospecting for other minerals. The Hwange/Gwayi Conservation and Tourism Association was recently forced to call a stakeholders' meeting to find a solution to the illegal Chinese mining activities which have resulted in massive pollution of rivers and are threatening to upset the flora and fauna. After a proper analysis, they established that there would be greater value in preserving the area as it is rather than allocating it for coal mining activities. One of the Chinese mining companies was recently fined $1000 by the Environmental Management Agency for mining coal without an Environmental Impact Assessment certificate. The area now occupied by the miners had previously served as a corridor between Hwange National Park, the Forestry Commission, the Gwayi Intensive Conservation Area and the Binga Conservation Area. Removing the corridor would obstruct the free movement of animals like the Presidential Elephants. Attempts to establish if the government gave the Chinese mining rights in Gwayi have proved fruitless.
 
ZAMBEZI RIVER NEW YEAR PARTY
There are many suitable venues to hold a New Year party and yet people persist in holding them in areas reserved for wildlife. A 48 hour New Year party is currently being organised to take place on an island in the Zambezi River in front of Tiger Safaris. The organiser, Campbell Carruthers, claims to have received permission from National Parks although National Parks state that they have not yet granted permission for the party to go ahead.

The live bands will disrupt the entire waterfront and both Zambian and Zimbabwean lodges will be affected. The organisers of the party are hoping to attract 3000 people. All the lodges in Chirundu are already fully booked for that period so where would all these additional people stay and where would they perform their ablutions? According to the advertisement, portable toilets will be placed on the island but how many times will these toilets have to be emptied if they are being used by 3000 people and where will they be emptied? Into the river? How much litter will be thrown into the river during the event?

The island has large quantities of reeds and is home to many species of birds. At least 4 crocodiles and a pod of hippos are resident and elephants often frequent the island. A party of this magnitude will disturb if not destroy the ecosystem on the island and the safety of the party goers is also a concern. There is a very real danger of drownings and animal attacks.

We appeal to the National Parks department to do the right thing and refuse to allow this party to take place.
 
ELEPHANTS SHOT IN TSHOLOTSHO
We have received reports that an undisclosed number of elephants have been shot in Tsholotsho, North West of Bulawayo. It is alleged that the shooting has been carried out by a hunter accompanied by an ex National Parks warden.
 
RHINO WAR NEWS
R55 million assets seized from poachers
MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL JOINT OPERATIONAL CENTRE
Pretoria, 9 May 2012


The joint security forces including the Endangered Species of the Hawks, the NPA, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs and the curators made a huge stride in our undying effort to thwart rhino poaching in South Africa.

This team has seized assets in the region of R55 million, believed to have been acquired through criminal activities, particularly rhino poaching from Dawie Groenewald (above), two veterinary surgeons, Drs Karel Toet and Manie Du Plessis.

In September 2010 the aforementioned accused were officially charged with 1872 counts of racketeering which makes it one of the biggest wildlife cases in South Africa. While this matter is still pending in court, the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act allows the Asset Forfeiture Unit to seize and preserve the assets of an accused until the case is finalized. On conviction of an accused, the seizure is realized and these proceeds are then used to continue with the combating of crime

The joint security forces which also includes the SAPS, SANDF and SANPARKS have worked tirelessly over the years to bring rhino poachers to book. Since January this year 99 people were arrested for rhino related matters country wide. It is imperative to mention these cases to indicate the extent of the problem of rhino poaching.
 

January 2012
A Zimbabwean citizen Rogers Mukwene was arrested for the illegal possession of three rhino horns in Kameeldrift, Pretoria. During the investigation it became known that he is a convicted rhino poacher in Zimbabwe. The rhino horns were later traced to a poaching incident at Dinaka Game Reserve in the Mookgopane district two weeks prior to his arrest.

Rogers Mukwene’s brother was arrested for bribery. This happened after he offered to pay the investigation officer R10 000-00 for the release of Rogers Mukwene on bail.

Thabazimbi, Limpopo Lucas Malema and Lucas Novela were arrested for attempting to poach rhino on a game farm. They were found in possession of a 375 hunting rifle as well as a 9mm pistol.

Assen, (North West): Manual Simango, Lucky Baloyi, Andries Mhlanga, Mr Ratshivhombelia, Deon Nkozi were arrested for the illegal possession of a 5,57 firearm and 2 x vehicles recovered while they were attempting to poach rhino on a game farm.

Upington, Northern Cape : Than Dolwetu Nicolas Mduduma was arrested for the illegal possession of rhino horn.

Vaalwater, (Limpopo): Bandam Manyaradzi (Zimbabwean), Goodman Molambo (Zimbabwean) and Oupa Jan Majadibodu were arrested for conspiracy to illegally hunt rhinos, theft of a firearm, theft of a 2-way police radio, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as unlawful possession of dangerous weapons.

 

February 2012
In Beestekraal, North West Province, Lucky Selepe, Manhique Eliasse Themba @ Manyeka a Mozambique citizen, Mathussi Alberto John (a Mozambican citizen) were arrested for attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm. A .3006 rifle and 4 rounds plus an axe were recovered.

Masoyi, (Mpumalanga): William Lakote, William Shabone and Isaac Fakude and Ciswe Ngobe were arrested for attempting to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park. One firearm was recovered.

Mhala, (Mpumalanga): Jeffrey Hlabana was arrested and one firearm recovered when he attempted to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park

Kabokwene, (Mpumalanga): Elvis Tulani Nonyani and Tholi Jordaan Ndlovu were arrested with a LM5 (223) rifle and 25 rounds in an attempt to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park.

Klaserie, (Limpopo): Happy Solomon Nyathi, Dlaweleni Joseph Nyalungu and Mafanyani Mario Helton Sibia were arrested with a 375 firearm while attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm.

Manyaleti, (Limpopo): Abraham Given Nyathi, Dennis Oros Makhubela and Jimmy Mkansi were arrested with a .303 rifle, bow saw and butchers knife while attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm

Assen, (North West): Alex Nyatlo, Karaboe Phetoe, Zola Ngijima, Nduduzi Khanile and Lebitia Japie Sedie were arrested while attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm.

Pretoriuskop, (Mpumalanga): Abrey Mnisi and Pride Nkuna were arrested with a .3006 rifle while attempting to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park.

Sabie Sands, (Mpumalanga): Moosa Hlanane, Proby Nyathi, Devine Nyathi and Sam Mlotshwa were arrested while attempting to hunt rhino on the game reserve.

Pretoriuskop, (Mpumalanga): Duncan Solomon Mnisi, Doctor Mbuso Ngwenyama, Charles Heartered Mabunda and Tiyani Mabunda were arrested for the illegal hunting of rhino in the Kruger National Park. All four were SANParks employees. After a lengthy bail application hearing bail was eventually denied to all four.

In Kempton Park, (Gauteng): Hui Chen was arrested for the illegal possession of rhino horn, elephant ivory curios and hippo tusk to the value of R 30 000.

Kempton Park, (Gauteng) : QiFeng Chen and Han Ji Gui were arrested for dealing in rhino horns in Kempton Park.

 

March 2012
One on the most prominent and notorious syndicates led by Joseph Nyalunga and 8 others were arrested on the 2 March 2012 outside Hazyview. During the operation over R 5 million rand in cash was seized from his house in Mhulu, hidden in a trunk in his garage. Several firearms, knifes and vehicles were seized from the suspects.

A Chinese syndicate responsible for the buying of rhino horns in Bruma Lake was disrupted by the Hawks. Four Chinese nationals were arrested and charges of racketeering are being brought against them. The value of their operation is estimated at R 3 Million. The accused are still in custody.

In middle March an operation was conducted by all Interpol countries with the aim to curb rhino horn smuggling. In South Africa a combined effort from The Hawks, Interpol, National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs, NPA, NATJOINTS and SARS was conducted. Inspections were done at taxidermists, freight agencies, airports, borders, game farms and road blocks were held at key areas and searches were conducted. This resulted in the arrest of Kevin Cooper for the illegal possession of 15 rhino horns and 6 elephant tusks. 15 homesteads in the Mkuze, Ulundi, Mahlabatini, Melmoth, Ubombo that were linked to rhino poachers were searched. R500 000-00 worth of wildlife products 8 firearms were seized and 8 suspects arrested.

In Bethlehem, (Free State) Nicolaas Erasmus, Benjamin Coetzee and Stephanus Fourie were arrested for the illegal dealing in two rhino horns. The matter was postponed for to a later date in May 2012.

In Hoopstad (Free State) Christoffel Jacobus Lombard, Eugine Petrus van der Merwe and William Theuns Jooste were arrested and charged with possession of M99; Illegal entry upon land with a weapon; conspiracy to commit a restricted activity and fraud. The case has been postponed to 25 May 2012 for further investigation.

These cases depict the widespread challenge of rhino poaching. On the other hand, the efforts of the joint security forces should be acknowledged because several accused were caught as they were attempting to poach rhino. It is against this backdrop that we welcome the seizure of assets and call for assets of every person arrested to be scrutinized and where possible, seized. The seizure of the assets of rhino poaching accused is what we believe will hurt the most. Generally, those that commit such crimes will serve their sentences but still come back to a life of luxury by by seizing assets, criminals have no worldly possessions to enjoy and this certainly helps send out a clear message that crime does not pay.

Thus far the Endangered Species Unit within the HAWKS have secured a total of 10 convictions amounting to a consolidated total of 111 years imprisonment in respect of these 10 accused.

The above convictions highlight successes during 2012. However for the period February 2011 to March 2012 convictions followed in 8 cases for the illegal possession of rhino horns, convictions were obtained in 4 cases for the illegal dealing in rhino horns and convictions for the illegal hunting of rhinos were obtained in 6 cases. In only 8 of these cases the accused sentenced to a fine. However in 12 of these cases the accused were sentenced to direct imprisonment without an option of a fine.

Only 7 accused had been acquitted during this period.

 

Court roll status
Currently 57 cases are on the court roll in which 161 accused are charged. 65 of these accused are held in custody while 96 accused have been released on bail.

 
Vishnu Naidoo - Colonel
Spokeperson

National Media Centre
Corporate Communication

South African Police Service
Office:+2712-400 6573
Cell: 082 567 4153
Fax: +2712-400 7018
E-mail: mediacentre@saps.org.za
Global List: Media Centre
 
Statement issued by Albi Modise, Department of Environmental Affairs, May 7 2012.
 

DAWIE GROENEWALD'S PROPERTY RAIDED
09 May 2012 - 08:26 - By Karin Labuschagne

(HAWKS RAIDING DAWIE GROENEWALD'S PROPERTY IN POLOKWANE AND MUSINA)
http://www.jacarandafm.com/kagiso/content/en/jacaranda/jacaranda-news?oid=1610691&sn=Detail&pid=399938&Dawie-Groenewald-s-property-raided

 

R55M SEIZED FROM SUSPECTED POACHERS
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/R55m-seized-from-suspected-poachers-20120509

 
POLICE TAKE ALLEGED POACHER'S ASSETS
http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Polisie-vat-vermeende-stroper-se-bates-20120509
 

Please forward to interested wildlife conservationists!

 

RHINO WAR NEWS is compiled & distributed for your information by Tim Condon ~
timconwild conservation

 
THANK YOU
A very big thank you to the following people who have assisted us with either donations or by buying items from our website:

Teddy Fowles, Cindy Purchase, Richard Schadendorf, John Dickason, Lloyd Chinsen, Stephen and Patti Gassaway, Brigitte Rodrigues and David Scobie, Manfred Vachal, Liz Grainger, Trudi Cashel, Wendy Davis, John Dawson, Sarah Palmer, Tony Petter-Bowyer, Lorraine Kaye, Chris and Maimie Noon, Ian Bickerton, Wolfgang Jobst, Packrat Software, Jill Vickerman, Carol Rees, Robert Durant, Louise Quinn, Don Tayloe, Sue Ryan, Phyllis Elliot, Christine Lesieur, Michael Hartwell, Peter Coombes, Carolyn Howie, Catherine Ives, Lisa Dodman and Chrystal Wynn.

If you have donated and your name has not been mentioned, please let us know.
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website: http://www.zctfofficialsite.org
 

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies solely on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please DONATE NOW or CONTACT US

 
follow ZCTF Twitter | Join ZCTF Facebook | SHARE THIS REPORT WITH FRIENDS
 

 



................................................................

 
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
 
Cree Indian Prophecy
 
 
20th April 2012
 
MAHOFA'S 8TH FARM
 
Three white farmers, Terry Andres, John Taylor and Grant Hudson have been ordered to vacate their 5 526 hectare conservancy to pave the way for former Deputy Minister of Gender and Youth, Shuvai Ben Mahofa. The three conservators have been ordered to surrender Savuli Conservancy to Mahofa who should take occupation until 2033. The magistrate has authorized the messenger of the court to use reasonable force against the respondants if they try to resist eviction.
 
When the Land Reform Programme started, the authorities promised that game farms and conservancies were not going to be touched but as we all know, promises were made to be broken. Over 90% of the game farmers have been evicted from their ranches and the new owners have slaughtered between 90 and 100% of the animals that were there.
 
Another statement that was made by President Mugabe was that the individuals who acquired farms were only allowed to have one each. In view of this, it is strange that many government supporters and ministers own several farms each, including Mahofa who now owns 8 farms. She is the proud owner of the following properties:
 
Sring Spruit - Masvingo
Lothian - Masvingo
Lochinvar - Masvingo
Eyrie - Gutu
Lauder - Gutu
Wrangly - Gutu
Save Conservancy, Savuli - Chiredzi
Zaka Scheme - Zaka.
 
We are concerned that it won't be long before all the wildlife on Savuli Conservancy is wiped out. We were lead to believe that the purpose of the Land Reform Programme was to supply land to landless people so it is difficult to comprehend how Mahofa manages to acquire 8 farms while there are still nillions of landless people hoping to benefit from the programme.
 
POWDERED RHINO HORN
 
Further to our last report wherein we stated that the governments of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique had agreed to sell powdered rhino horn in pharmacies, Dr Jeff Ramsey, Botswana's chief of government communication has stated that no such agreement took place. He further stated that Botswana continues to support the ban on the sale of rhino horn in all forms.
 
THE DESTRUCTION OF SAVE VALLEY CONSERVANCY
 
Higher Education Minister, Stan Mudenge and several top military and political figures have been blamed for the destruction of Save Valley Conservancy, once one of the largest private wildlife sanctuaries in the world.
 
It is reported that forced seizure of the conservancy by top military and political figures with no interest or experience in wildlife conservation had resulted in massive destruction of the conservancy. According to reports, there is extensive habitat destruction, large scale fence destruction and rampant poaching of animals, especially rhino whose numbers were said to be fast dwindling.
 
The beneficiaries of land allocated at the conservancy are General Englebert Rugeje, Hon Sithole, Hon Senator Hungwe, Mr Ndava, Hon Minister S Mudenge, Hon Governor T Maluleke, Mr Cladman Chibemene, Rtd Lt Col D Moyo, Mrs Mahofa and Mr Baloyi.
 
ECONOMICS OF RHINO HUNTING/POACHING DO WE LEGALISE TRADE IN RHINO HORN - Chris Mercer. LL.B (LONDON)
 

chris mercer

·        Co-founder and Director of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting

·        Co-founder Kalahari Raptor Centre (retired)

·        Co-author of "For the Love of Wildlife"

·        Co-author of "Canned Hunting ~ a National Disgrace"

·        Retired Advocate of the High Courts of Zimbabwe and Botswana

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/groups/OSCAP/doc/266073876816642/

 
·        THE ECONOMICS OF RHINO HUNTING/POACHING DO WE LEGALISE THE TRADE IN RHINO HORN? By Chris Mercer. LL.B (London) Hons Retired legal practitioner.
 
Report By Allison Thomson in Outraged SA Citizens against Poaching: 
 
THE ECONOMICS OF RHINO HUNTING/POACHING DO WE LEGALISE THE TRADE IN RHINO HORN? & ENDEMIC CORRUPTION IN AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS
 

By Chris Mercer. LL.B (London) Hons - Retired legal practitioner.

Director: Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

www.cannedlion.org Co-author with Bev Pervan of the wildlife movie book Kalahari Dream. www.kalahari-dream.com

This is a vital matter Please read it then share it Free eReport read it! Share it!

RHINO HORN by Chris Mercer

In this eReport Mr. Mercer discusses six issues surrounding the debate of legalizing the trade in rhino horn.

1. Increase in Numbers

2. Enforcement capacity

3. Hunting and Poaching

4. Personal Gain

5. Money Lost

6. Resolving the Poaching Crisis

He then shares his conclusions and most importantly his recommendations.

DISCUSSION
 

1. Numbers: proponents of legalising the trade in rhino horn say that rhino numbers have increased due to rhino farming. That is so, but numbers alone are not a true measure of conservation. Rhino farming will certainly increase numbers, but breeding animals in relatively small camps for their horns has nothing to do with conservation, and everything to do with factory farming. Let us not lose sight of what real conservation is: the preservation of natural, functioning eco-systems. Artificially breeding up numbers of semi-tame rhino in fenced camps for commercial purposes is merely taking the wild out of our wildlife.

2. Enforcement: any scheme to legalise the trade in rhino horns rests upon the assumption that governments can be

a) Un-corrupt;

b) efficient; and

c) effective. (Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right thing). The less said about this subject the better, other than to observe that a shakier foundation for a legal trade in rhino horn is hard to imagine.

3. Hunting and poaching: in natural eco-systems, it is the weak and sick who are killed by predators, and this strengthens the genes. The human predator (trophy hunter or poacher, same thing) puts the process of natural selection in reverse, killing the big and strong. Hunting and poaching are therefore equally destructive to wildlife populations. The hunting / poaching of farmed rhino is a closed circuit and should not be considered part of conservation.

4. Gain: delays in legalising the trade in rhino horn are being caused by "donor agencies," say the proponents, and go on to suggest that these "donor agencies" are lobbying against a legal trade in horn for selfish financial reasons i.e. They are bandwagons who profit from the current plight of rhinos and for that reason do not want to see an end to the ban. This is like arguing that Policemen and Judges must love criminals because without them there would be no need for Judges and Policemen. Such a silly claim should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

5. Money Lost: proponents claim that those who oppose legalising the trade in rhino horn are "costing the country about R2 million a day", being the difference between the 448 rhino we are losing every year, and the value of the legal sale of horn. This is a dangerous over-statement: First, it assumes that on the day trade is legalised, all poaching of rhino will stop at once. Second, it assumes that only ethically obtained horns will come to the Central Selling Organisation, and that no corruption will siphon off funds in to private or political pockets.

6. Resolving the Poaching Crisis: proponents claim that all rhino poaching will be resolved by legalising the trade, because:-

i. A Centralised Selling Organisation (CSO) would sell only ethically obtained rhino horns to only Chinese parasatals.

ii. The traditional medicine market in China would be fully supplied and prices of horn would drop.

iii. Lower horn prices would mean less poaching. iv. All the proceeds of sale would go "into conservation and be used exclusively to protect rhino and game parks.

These arguments sound so plausible, yet they are all fatally flawed. Once again, they rest on false assumptions.

1. This assumes that both the CSO and the Chinese parastatals will not be corrupt, and that poachers - especially those with deep pockets and powerful friends in government - will not be able to obtain the documentation needed to pass off poached horns as "ethical" or "legal" horn.

2. The assessment of the size and workings of the Chinese traditional medicine industry are naive, fanciful and speculative. No one knows whether releasing more horn on to the market via (possibly corrupt Chinese parastatals) will cause prices of horn to nose-dive so far that killing rhino becomes uneconomical. Will speculators buy up horn as an investment once the trade was legalised? Why not, they hoard gold etc? Could a speculative boom cause prices to rise? No one knows.

3. The assumption that lower prices for horn will mean less poaching ignores the African reality: In Africa, if a bullet costs one dollar and the horn will only sell for ten dollars then rhino will still be poached.

4. The assumption that all proceeds of sale of horn would "go in to conservation," and be "used to protect the game parks of Africa" is the most fanciful of all. This is Africa. To remain in power African governments use patronage. Being unable to innovate and create wealth themselves, African governments have to take whatever they can e.g. nationalising mines, confiscating farms, in order to fund their need to buy patronage.

Corruption is therefore endemic: it simply cannot be eradicated without eliminating African governments.

As for South Africa's ability to conserve its natural resources, a recent international comparative study of conservation and environmental issues by Yale University and the UNEP placed South Africa 124th out of 132 countries. See http://bit.ly/wd58j3 

5. In other words, it's official - South Africa has one of the worst conservation regimes in the world - and this is the body to be trusted with administering the trade in rhino horn if the proponents have their way. When all these realities are factored in to the arguments of those who claim that legalising the trade in rhino horn will save the rhino, then those arguments are patently flawed.

CONCLUSION
 

It is important to understand that rhino are not being poached because of the ban on the sale of rhino horn: ergo, lifting the ban cannot get to the root of the problem. Rhino are being poached because African governments have neither the political will nor the competence to manage their game parks effectively. Therefore, the savage persecution of rhino must inevitably continue, whether or not the sale of rhino horn is legalised. The only question is whether lifting the ban would mitigate a horrendous situation. The claims of the proponents of lifting the ban are hopelessly optim istic and unrealistic, but we should still remain open minded. The imponderables are such that no one knows.

Will legalising the trade allow poachers to filter into the system poached horn - and pass it off as legal horn? This has happened with the ivory trade: when the ban was lifted, poaching increased exponentially.

Should game farmers be allowed to farm with rhino? Well, if their grisly trade provides a funnel into a legal market, and this allows poachers to piggy- back their poached horn on that "legal" trade, then the game farmers farming activities will impact adversely upon conservation - even if they themselves are divorced from it. What is wrong with the economic approach is that it tries to justify animal exploitation by numbers - both animal and dollars. But numbers alone are hopelessly inadequate to understand environmental degradation - or to fight it. In effect, the financial approach tries to shoe-horn all the complexities of social and environmenta l paradigms into a profit and loss account and it then wants us to buy the whole company without looking at the whole Balance Sheet.

This narrow economic approach could be used by drug and human traffickers as well as car hijackers, to justify their abominable activities. Like all important social and environmental issues, rhino protection needs a broad multi-disciplinary approach. So what are my suggestions?

RECOMMENDATIONS
 

First, the trade ban on rhino horn should not be lifted until we have tried more direct methods. The rigid protection of game parks has to be stepped up, and African governments have shown that they are not up to this task. Well then, let's think outside the box. NATO training exercises, using drones and all the latest technology, could well be held in African game parks, with a shoot to kill policy on poachers.

Second, a one-off sale of existing stocks of horns should be permitted, subject to international oversight - and auditing - on the use of the funds. Next, poisoning of horns should be mandatory. The possession or sale of un-poisoned horn should be criminalised. (Who'd want to buy poisoned horn?) After all we need to attack the root of the problem, which is human ignorance, vanity and greed.

The ignorance of those Orientals who believe devoutly, fanatically, that rhino horn has any medicinal properties; the fatuous vanity of the Occidental trophy hunter who thinks he is a hero for hanging the head of a dead rhino on his wall, and the greed of those ruthless soldiers of fortune who will plunder and exploit our wildlife heritage in order to profit from that ignorance and vanity.

You can contact Chris Mercer via his website

http://www.cannedlion.org/

 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email:galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website:www.zctfofficialsite.org
   
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies solely on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please CONTACT US OR DONATE NOW
 
 


Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy

16th April 2012,


NEW ZCTF WEBSITE
We are very proud and delighted to announce that we have a beautiful, new, professional website. My daughter Brigitte Rodrigues, who lives in Scotland and is the CEO for ZCTF European Operations very kindly built the website for us as a valuable contribution to the preservation of wildlife in Zimbabwe. Thank you so much Brigitte - we are overwhelmed by your talent and generosity. Thank you also to David Scobie who has very kindly donated some of his music which can be downloaded from the website.
We would like to urge everyone to go into the website, www.zctfofficialsite.org and have a look at it. Please let us know what you think.
Although Brigitte built the site for us free of charge, she has decided to supplement her income by building websites so if anyone is interested, please email her on contact@zctfofficialsite.org

We are also now on Twitter so if you would like to receive updates of reports on the go please follow us at: https://twitter.com/#!/ZCTFOFFICIAL

TWO RHINO KILLED IN SAVE

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of two rhino in the Save Valley Conservancy. The rhinos were shot by poachers over the Easter weekend.
CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY
Sadly, we don't have any good news to report about the invasion of Chiredzi River Conservancy. The settlers are continuing their invasion and are building, cutting down and burning large trees and poaching. They have taken their cattle and dogs into all the wildlife areas and they are selling large quantities of wood along the Zaka tar road. One invader was fined $500 for cutting trees but this has not deterred him at all. He continues to chop trees down. Despite reports to the local police, they seem unable or unwilling to stop the invasions. The invaders are cutting trees and building shacks in the elephants' paddocks at Wasara Ranch. The conservators took their names and when questioned, they said they are being forced to do this by their leaders but they are too afraid to reveal their names. One elephant was hit by a car on the tar road a few nights ago. The conservators have been following its tracks and it looks as if it has rejoined the herd although there are signs that its back legs are dragging.
It would be a very simple matter for either the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources or National Parks to put a stop to this madness and we can't understand why they seem reluctant to do so. Extensive reports and photos have been tabled in parliament and still there is no change.
SENIOR PRISON OFFICER CAUGHT WITH TUSKS
A senior prison officer, Assistant Commissioner Apinos Mudzamiri was arrested last month after being caught with 4 elephant tusks as well as a quantity of marijuana. Madzimire was travelling in a car with 3 civilians when they became bogged down in the mud. The police became suspicious and searched the car, finding the tusks and the marijuana. The four occupants were arrested although one of the civilians managed to escape.
SHARON PINCOTT'S NEW BOOK
Sharon Pincott’s latest book – Battle for the President’s Elephants - has recently been released in South Africa. Despite having formed one of the most remarkable relationships with wild elephants said to ever have been documented, Sharon’s battles in Hwange to keep them safe never seem to end. When I asked Sharon about her book, she responded: “I found when writing, that I needed to balance the preposterous with some wonder, and so there are more in-depth stories than previously told, about how my intimate relationships with some of these elephants came about, intermingled with amusing wildlife tales. And then there are the battles, like the spy allegation, and finding myself on the police wanted-person’s list, combined with the neglect of the land, and having one of Zimbabwe's hoteliers controversially throw me out of my home and attempt to stop my work. Also covered is the enco uraging reaffirmation of the Presidential Decree by President Mugabe last year, but also what this really means if companies are permitted by the government to negatively impinge on the welfare of this flagship herd. There’s also the fun times with the documentary filmmakers, and still more preposterous episodes that occurred, despite the presence of this film crew. It’s an eye-opening read, but also a laugh in many of the stories. You can read some short extracts on www.sharonpincott.com
On the back-cover of this book is a photograph that everyone should see. Taken by the filmmakers who were with her last year, it is an amazing photo of Sharon kissing one of the wild Presidential Elephant s. (This one-hour documentary – titled All the President’s Elephants - will premiere on South African television probably in June, before being distributed around the world. I’m told that the prelude to this kiss, is part of the film.) Sharon’s book is widely available in bookshops throughout South Africa and will also soon be available from sites such as amazon.com, and also bookdepository.com which offers free world-wide delivery. In Harare, there is an ordering service at the Mukuvisi WEZ shop. We wish Sharon, and the elephants, every success in raising vital awareness, and with her ongoing voluntary work in Hwange.
HELP SAVE THE RHINO
Avaaz has launched a petition to try and help save the rhino. Their petitions are reputed to be very successful so we would encourage everyone to please sign this petition.
Dear friends,

The rhino is being hunted into extinction and could disappear forever unless we act now. Shocking new statistics show 440 rhinos were brutally killed l ast year in South Africa alone -- a massive increase on five years ago when just 13 had their horns hacked off. European nations could lead the world to a new plan to save these amazing creatures but they need to hear from us first!

Fueling this devastation is a huge spike in demand for rhino horns, used for bogus cancer cures, hangover remedies and good luck charms in China and Vietnam. Protests from South Africa have so far been ignored by the authorities, but Europe has the power to change this by calling for a ban on all rhino trade -- from anywhere, to anywhere -- when countries meet at the next crucial international wildlife trade summit in July.

The situation is so dire that the threat has even spread into British zoos who are on red-alert for rhino killing gangs! Let’s raise a giant outcry and urge Europe to push for new protections to save rhinos from extinction. When we reach 100,000 signers, our call will be delivered in Brussels, the decision-ma king heart of Europe, with a crash of cardboard rhinos. Every 50,000 signatures will add a rhino to the crash -- bringing the size of our movement right to the door of EU delegates as they decide their position. Sign the petition below then forward this email widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_rhinos/?tta 

So far this year one rhino has been killed every day in South Africa, home to at least 80% of the world’s remaining wild rhinos. Horns now have a street value of over $65,000 a kilo -- more expensive than gold or platinum. The South African Environment Minister has pledged to take action by putting 150 extra wardens and even an electric fence along the Mozambique border to try and stem the attacks -- but the scale of the threat is so severe that global action is required.

Unless we act today we may lose this magnificent and ancient animal species permanently. Some Chinese are loudly lobbying for the trade in horn to be relaxed, but banning the trade in all rhinos will silence them. With the EU’s leadership, we can bring these international gangsters to justice, put the poachers in prison, and push for public awareness programmes in key Asian countries -- and end this horn horror show for good.

In the next few weeks, the EU will be setting its agenda for the next big global meeting in just a few months -- our best chance of turning the tide against the slaughter. We know that rhinos will be on their agenda, but only our pressure can ensure they challenge the problem at its source. Let’s build a giant outcry and deliver it in a spectacular fashion -- sign now and together we can stop the slaughter across Africa:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_rhinos/?tta 

In 2010, Avaaz’s actions helped to stop the elephant ivory trade from exploding. In 2012, we can do the same for the rhino. When we speak out together, we can change the world -- last year was the worst year ever for the rhino, but this can be the year when we win.

With hope,

Iain, Sam, Maria Paz, Emma, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team
We would like to thank Lindsay Jenions for allowing us to share her poem with you. This says it all!

I will NOT remember China for
The Great Wall or its economic boom
But instead as the nation that drove
Africa's rhino to extinction and doom
More than a billion Chinese
Bringing less than 22-thousand
Innocent rhino to their knees
They're all we've got left
On Africa's big continent
The clock ticks the seconds
In each short day
And in 2012 every 24 hours
Another of SA's precious rhino
Has its life torn away
440 poached 2011 in SA alone
Where 80% of the world's
Last wild rhino call home
I'm tired of a nation
Touting unfounded medicinal claims
Borne of their convenient selfish aims
That rhino horn cures from
A cough and a sneeze to all manner of moans
Including Aids, cancer and numerous
Other illogical groans
There was a time when China had rhino
But they're long gone now
Their horns ground to a fine powder dust
To feed this vast nation's
Incessant medicinal myth-lust
Today, to the Chinese I say
Please leave Africa's Rhino alone
This continent is their rightful home
Show respect, let them live long and free
As nature intended them to be
This magnificent animal, for all the future
Generations of the world's children to see
We don't poach your few
Protected treasured Pandas
Who at China's own hands
Met this same unfair fate
So STOP senselessly killing
Africa's last precious Rhinos
BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
Tick-Tock...
Lest you forget...
Remember this clock...
By Lindsay Jenions
31st March 2012

POWDERED RHINO HORN
Rhino conservationists are outraged following an agreement made by five governments in Africa to grind rhino horn into a powder and sell it in pharmacies. The governments of the five countries involved in the Kavanga-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and Botswana agreed that this would be the best way to eradicate the poaching of rhinos. They stated that the powdered rhino horn could be sold in pharmacies in their five countries.
We are strongly opposed to this because the buyers of the rhino horn would undoubtedly prefer to purchase the entire horn. It would be difficult to prove to them that the powdered version is genuinely rhino horn. There is also the problem of people from the Middle East who like to give their sons a dagger with a rhino horn handle upon reaching manhood. We believe this idea of powdering the horn is a complete waste of time and money and in addition to not achieving the objective, the rhino would be regularly subjected to dehorning. There are not enough rhino in the world to satisfy the market so we believe a total ban should be imposed on rhino horn trade and rhino hunting.   
DEFORESTATION
Despite the fact that Zimbabwe has already lost over 400 million hectares to deforestation, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources has now given 10 000 hectares of pristine forest in Chimanimani to settlers. It is a foregone conclusion that the settlers will do what they do best and chop all the trees down.
THANK YOU
A very big thank you to the following people who have assisted us with funds recently. If you have donated and your name is not mentioned, please let us know so we can follow it up:
Wolfgang Jobst
Sheila Johnson
Dennis Kitsman
Tony Petter-Bowyer
Bonnie Swift
Donald Tayloe
Debbie Topping


Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email:galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website:www.zctfofficialsite.org


................................................................

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy

19th February 2012
ELEPHANTS SHOT AT CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY
On the night of the 16th February, National Parks staff from Chipinda Pools went to Chiredzi River Conservancy and shot 3 elephants - 2 lactating cows and one young bull. The conservancy has lost 7 elephants in the past 35 days. The 3 elephants were shot within the Chiredzi River Conservancy boundary on the Wasara section.
It is evident that the settlers who have invaded the conservancy are working hand in hand with National Parks because the settlers herd the elephants into an area for shooting by National Parks. The tusks were taken by National Parks and the meat was given to the settlers.
This shooting took place despite a no shooting directive from Harare. All the adult cows in the conservancy either have calves or are heavily pregnant and the slaughter of the cows is resulting in many small elephants being left orphaned.
It appears that National Parks headquarters in Harare are not aware of what their conterparts are doing in the Lowveld and it is of great concern that the guardians of our wildlife are participating in this criminal activity.
We have written letters regarding the illegal invasion of the conservancy to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Francis Nhema, The Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai and the Director of National Parks, Vitalis Chadenga. The issue will soon be tabled and parliament and we are hoping for a favourable outcome.

Copy_of_dead_eles_4.jpg

Copy_of_dead_eles_4.jpg

CHINESE NATIONALS ADMIT TO ANIMAL CRUELTY
The ZNSPCA have reported that four Chinese nationals have pleaded guilty to contravening the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act Chapter 19-09.
The four nationals, Zhang Hong Yuan, Chen Caijan, Lin Guibin and Shi Jiahau resided at Chiwara Homestead located near Gambakwe Village in Bikita. They had procured Bell Hinged Tortoises from the local community for personal consumption.

Copy_of_chinese_nationals.jpg

The Bells Hinged Tortoise is listed under CITES Appendix II and its numbers in the wild have dwindled significantly over recent years.
At the end of last year, 13 live toroises and the skeletal remains of another 40 were recovered from the residence of the Chinese in a raid carried out by National Parks and the Save Valley Conservancy Anti-Poaching Unit.
The toroises had been stored in two empty 200 litre steel drums with no provision for food or water. Stagnant water and fecal matter were evident as was overcrowding. Members of the community stated that the tortoises were dropped into boiling water whilst still alive in order to separate the shell from the meat.
Charges of cruelty were laid against the Chinese nationals who were arrested and fined. Further investigations revealed that the accused nationals had been employed without relevant immigration documentation and they have now been detained in a state security prison pending deportation.
Judging by reports received, it is apparent that some Chinese nationals living in Zimbabwe have very little respect for our wildlife and environment and are causing untold damage to our national heritage.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:http://www.zctfofficialsite.org/
Website: www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

12th January 2012
HAPPY NEW YEAR
We hope all our readers had a very happy Christmas and we wish you a prosperous New Year. We sincerely hope we will see an improvement in the poaching situation in 2012.
BABY ELEPHANT RESCUED
A baby elephant was found wandering alone down the Kario/Makuti stretch of road recently with no sign of any other elephants in sight. It is believed that his family may have been frightened off by something as their tracks lead far off into the bush.
After spending the whole day with him, Andries Scholtz along with Bryce and Lara Clemence and others organised with National Parks to have him taken to Kariba for the night and the following day, he was taken to Mwanga Lodge just outside Harare where he is being cared for by Gordon and Debbie Putterill. The baby elephant has been named Kunda and Gordon and Debbie desperately need financial assistance to pay for his upkeep. Although he is only 3 weeks old, he will need 30 litres of special milk per day. If anyone is in a position to help, please contact us.
Yesterday the ZCTF donated 50kg of milk formula to Kunda and I took a trip out to Mwanga Lodge to deliver the donation.
We would like to thank all those involved in the rescue of Kunda.
ANIMALS DYING IN MANA POOLS
88 hippos, 45 buffaloes, 30 elephants and 2 kudus were found dead in Mana Pools National Park. Tests confirm that the hippos died of anthrax but the cause of death of the other animals has not yet been confirmed. The carcasses of the dead animals are being burnt to prevent the spread of the disease.
RHINO LOSSES IN 2011
Zimbabwe lost 23 rhinos to poachers last year which was a slight improvement on the 30 that were killed in 2010. Whilst the improved figures are encouraging, it is still completely unacceptable for even one rhino to be killed in view of the fact that they are an endangered species. 37 poachers and illegal horn dealers were arrested and a total of 100 rhino were immobilized for ear notching and horn implanting to facilitate individual identification and monitoring in the field. In addition to this, a US based animal protection group, the International Rhino Foundation launched "Operation Stop Poaching Now" to raise funds to equip rangers in Zimbabwe and South Africa with kits to help them track rhino poachers.
South Africa suffered much higher losses last year. 440 rhino were killed by poachers which is tragic.
MINING ACTIVITY IN AND NEAR HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
A fly over Hwange National Park has revealed that there are 3 coal mining developments, 2 adjoining the park and one actually inside the park.
The associated building of roads and increased human activity is bound to lead to an increase in poaching as the area is opened up, access becomes easier and there are more people in the area to carry out the poaching and to buy the poached meat.
Of even greater concern is the total devastation of large tracts of land in what was previously a wilderness area. It may not be possible to restore the wildlife once the habitat has been destroyed.
According to the Park and Wildlife Act, nobody may mine within a national park unless they have a written agreement from the Minister of Environment and Tourism and to date, it has not been established whether and of the 3 mines has such an agreement. In addition to this, before any development takes place, an Environmental Impact Assessment is required. The Provincial Environmental Manager for Matabeleland North and Bulawayo Provinces was not aware of the mining activities taking place, nor was she able to find any record of Environmental Impact Assessments being done.
ONGOING DESTRUCTION IN CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY
Further to our September 2011 report, the destruction being caused in Chiredzi River Conservancy by land invaders continues unabated. They are cutting down huge riverine hardwood trees at the junction of the Chitora and Mungwezi Rivers. They are cutting everything right down to the river bed and the damage they are causing is permanent. Piles of wood for sale can be seen
along the tar road.
Poaching is on the increase in all areas remaining with wildlife and the wild elephants are still being threatened. Livestock and people are putting pressure on the remaining wildlife areas. Game fencing is being stolen to make wire snares and as fast as the fences are replaced, they are stolen again.
Game guards and workers employed to try and control the situation are being threatened with violence if the poachers' dogs get shot while they are hunting.
THANK YOU
A very big thank you to the following people who have assisted us with funds recently:
Carol Wales Smith
Chris Noon
John & Helen Buckle
Hugh Atkinson
Dorian Richardson
Casey Schadie
Teddy Fowles
Marja Kuiper
Liz Grainger
We would like to make a special mention of a donation we received from Sarah McGarghan. Sarah has an srmphotography business and recently had a photo session called Buds and Buddies in which she invited the participants (children aged 5 - 19) to decide which organisation to donate a portion of events proceeds. One was a local food shelf, one was a local disaster relief fund and the third was the ZCTF. They chose the ZCTF and we would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to these children for assisting in the preservation of wildlife in Zimbabwe.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.




ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

26th September 2011

ELEPHANTS STILL UNDER THREAT AT CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY

Further to our August report, the situatio in Chiredzi River Conservancy is worsening.

The Chiredzi River Conservancy, part of the Trans Frontier Conservation Area, is an internationally renowned wildlife conservancy in the Sout Eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe. It is being overrun by destructive invaders and its elephant and wildlife population is in severe danger of being wiped out. Reports indicate that the destruction of its fragile ecosystem has reached such serious proportions that its very survival is under threat. Appeals for the government to intervene before the destruction of the environment in the conservancy, and in all areas of Zimbabwe becomes irreversible, are falling on deaf ears.

The conservancy is situated in an area classified as Region 5, meaning that it is arid and unsuitable for agriculture. Despite this, invaders have destroyed large areas by burning tress and vegetation in their effforts to grow crops and graze their cattle. Although there is funding available to help them move to areas more suitable for farming, the government turns a blind eye to the problem. Game scouts are employed to patrol the area but their jobs are extremely dangerous and they live under constant threat from poachers, politicians and invaders. They are continually assaulted and abused.


CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY ELEPHANTS INVADERS BUTCHERING AN ELEPHANT

In an effort to protect the elephants, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Francis Nhema was approached and asked if the elephants could be moved to a safer area but he was adamant that they stay in the conservancy. Whilst he acknowledged that the invaders were there illegally, he has made no attempt to have them removed.


SOUTH AFRICANS HUNT BUFFALO IN KARIBA

We have received reports recently of South African hunters allegedly being given permission by National Parks to shoot buffalo in the Kariba area - apparently for rations. It is thought that 2 have already been shot and a third is being hunted. The reports say that a buffalo was shot and taken to the weigh bay in the NAU Charara fishing camp where it was skinned. It was then hung in the cold room in the camp - all this apparently with the permission of the Acting Manager of the NAU (National Anglers' Union). The part that doesn't make sense is that normally, when animals are shot for rations, they are taken to Nyanana and not to the NAU fishing camp. We were always under the impression that NAU Charara site was a fishing camp - not a hunting camp. If any tourists were present at the time, they would probably have been quite distressed to see a buffalo being skinned in the weigh bay. The other disturbing factor is that there are only about 32 buffalo left out of an original herd of 650.

We have been given the following names and vehicle registration numbers of some of the people involved:

Hunter: P Uys (RSA)
Zimbabwean Professional Hunter: James McKenzie of James McKenzie Walking Safaris (Kariba).
Vehicles: BVJ - 171 - L and BLB - 048 - L

POISONING OF WATERHOLES

We have received reports of poachers poisoning waterholes in some of the biggest game reserves in the country such as Gonarezhou, Mana Pools, Zambezi, Matusadona, Charara and Hwange. In Hwange National Park, 7 waterholes have allegedly been poisoned. The poison used is known as "Two Step", apparently because the animals that consume it take two steps and then die. This is an extremely serious problem because when an animal dies after consuming the poison, the scavengers that feed off the carcass, such as hyena and vultures, also die. The only way to get rid of the poison would be to drain the water holes and then dig them up and dispose of the soil in an area where it won't be a danger to any animals or humans.

LEOPARDS BEING SHOT IN MATOPAS NATIONAL PARK

We have been informed that National Parks have authorized the shooting of leopard in Matopas National Park, a protected wildlife area. It is extremely distressing to note that the guardians of our wildlife appear to be partially responsible for its demise.

THANK YOU

Thanks you very much to the following people who have assisted us with donations:

Barbara Bowman
Donald Tayloe
Deborah Robertson
John and Helen Buckle
Hugh Atkinson
Liz Grainger
Doria Richardson
Suzanne House
Neil Mansfield
Fiona Pearson
Chris Noon
Catherine Ives



Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy


30th August 2011

ELEPHANTS UNDER THREAT AT CHIREDZI RIVER CONSERVANCY

During the drought of 91/92, a number of juvenile elephants were captured in Gonarezhou National Park and moved to the Chiredzi River Conservancy in order to save them from starvation. There are now approximately 70 of these elephants which have been under constant pressure from land invaders over the past 11 years but have learnt to co-exist with them.

However, there are now new land invasions taking place in Chiredzi River Conservancy and for the past week, there has been a new influx of people cutting down trees, poaching and destroying the already damaged environment. They are moving into areas that have been spared from degradation until recently. The wildlife has already been suffering in these areas due to poaching, but at least they had somewhere they could stay and feed.

The invaders are people who have already taken or been given land elsewhere in the Conservancy. The Conservancy is situated in an area classified as Region 5, which means it is arid and not suitable for agriculture. The invaders have destroyed the areas they were given in the first place, by burning and over grazing and they are now turning their attention to the areas occupied by the wildlife. Hundreds of cattle are grazing there illegally and there is no management or guidance from the authorities.

After 11 years of settlement and attempted farming, the settlers are still relying on food aid because this area is too hot and the rainfall too low to enable crops to grow. Although there is funding available to help the settlers move to areas more suitable for farming, the destruction continues and the authorities turn a blind eye to it. In an effort to protect the elephants in the area, Mr Nhema, Minister of Environment and Tourism was approached for assistance but when asked if the elephants could be relocated to a safer area, he was adamant that they must stay in the Chiredzi River Conservancy. He also stated that the settlers were there illegally which is all very well but no attempt is being made to relocate the settlers.

The territory which had been set aside for the elephants has now been invaded and they have nowhere else to go. In order to reach water holes and dams, they have to pass through settled areas where they are harassed and chased by the invaders. The animals are extremely stressed and some young calves are missing. One elephant has a new snare embedded in its flesh and 2 months ago, 2 young elephants in the area were decapitated - one being a lactating cow.

The Zimbabwean wildlife has already taken such a beating since the onset of the Land Reform Programme and it is imperative that we try and preserve the remaining animals. The destruction taking place in the Chiredzi River Conservancy is so pointless and unnecessary. If the settlers were able to grow crops in the area to avert hunger, one could understand but this is not the case. No matter how much vegetation they destroy or how many animals they kill, they are never going to be able to grow crops in an area which is too hot and dry to support this but still they carry on trying. As we have seen over the past 11 years, once they have destroyed everything, they will then move on and destroy another area - to what purpose?

We appeal to the authorities to please move the settlers to a more arable area where their crops will flourish. Then the settlers will be happy and the elephants can continue to live in the territory they have always enjoyed.



Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
18th June 2011
FOOD FOR STARVING ANIMALS
Thanks to donations received from various people, and especially Barbara Bowman, we were able to respond to the appeal circulated by Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit for food and fuel to help feed the animals stranded on various islands in Kariba. We approached National Foods in Harare with the intention of purchasing 5 or 6 tons of stock feed and we were absolutely delighted when Willard Mukondiwa and Owen Nyoni of National Foods offered to donate 30 tons! The stockfeed contains all the necessary nutrients for the survival of the animals.
A big thank you to Redan Petroleum who sold us 2 000 litres of fuel at cost price. This will be used to deliver the stock feed to the islands.
We then had the problem of transporting the stockfeed to Kariba but Rob Follett-Smith and Adrian Chant of Alro Transport came to our rescue and donated the use of a 30 ton truck. A very big thank you to Alro who are always willing to assist with conservation problems. The load was very bulky so we also needed an additional smaller truck. Thank you very much to Jenni Ferguson and Tony Smith of Move - It Transport who supplied us with a 2 tonner.
 
I accompanied Tony in the Move-It truck to Kariba. We left ahead of the Alro truck to make sure everything was ready for offloading the stockfeed at Andora Harbour in Kariba. Kariba Ferries very kindly donated the use of their ferry, the Sea Horse to take the stockfeed across the lake to Bumi Hills. A big thank you to Kariba Ferries who are also always very willing to assist where the wildlife is concerned. Fortunately we were able to drive the Move-It truck onto the ferry to offload but when we arrived, we realized that the Alro truck would be too big to drive down into the harbour.
 
The Alro truck arrived the following day, loaded to the hilt. It couldn't go any further than the entrance of the harbour which meant we had to hire several local people to carry the bags from the truck, 200 metres down the hill to the ferry. This was real back-breaking work and it took 22 people 3 hours to complete the job.
 
We were told that there were several buffalo starving on Antelope Island which is not in the vicinity of the Bumi Hills rescue operation so we donated 2 tons of the stockfeed for the buffalo and the balance was loaded onto the Sea Horse.
 
We would like to thank Nicholas Milne and the Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit for the fantastic job they are doing in feeding the starving animals. If it wasn't for people like them, those animals would definitely perish.
KYLIE'S DONATION TO THE ZNSPCA
I was extremely touched and proud to learn that my 13 year old granddaughter, Kylie used her pocket money to make a donation to the ZNSPCA. She saw an appeal at her school, Chisipite Girls' High, for blankets, food and leashes for the dogs in the kennels at the SPCA and she decided to use the $100 which she has been saving for the past 6 months, towards this cause. She bought 6 leashes, 2 x 20kg dog meal, 4 packets of hooves for the dogs to chew on and a length of fleece material from which she made 15 warm blankets. Well done Kylie! I'm sure the dogs are going to be very happy when they receive their gifts.
 
THE MATENDERE RHINO
In April, we reported the horrific case of a rhino in Save Conservancy that was found wandering around in agony after poachers had shot it and hacked off most of its face in order to steal the horn. Wildlife vets treated it as best they could and hoped it would survive.
We have had several enquiries as to what has happened to the rhino since then and we are very sad to announce that it eventually had to be put down.
THANK YOU
We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the following people who have assisted us with funds recently:
Barbara Bowman
Liz Grainger
John and Helen Buckle
Chris Noon
Trish Kok
Graham Speedy
Trudy Cashel
Gerry Jackson
Carolyn Howie
Janice Kilian
Paula Stone
Rosemarie Pile
Hugh Atkinson
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email:
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


13th April 2011
MATENDERE RHINO
Last week, scouts reported a severely wounded black rhino wandering around Save Conservancy. Rangers were despatched to locate the rhino and were met with a horrifying and gruesome sight. The rhino had been shot several times by poachers and the horns had been hacked out. They left the rhino for dead but the poor animal regained consciousness and was found wandering around, obviously in agony. We have not included the photos in the body of this email because they are extremely disturbing. Anyone wanting to see the photos may open the attachment.
Vets were called in and as the animal had managed to survive the savage attack and was still eating properly, they decided to try and save it. They darted it and administered masses of antibiotics in the hope that the horrific wound will heal.
Also of great concern is the fact that this rhino had been dehorned last year and the poachers were not deterred by the fact that it had only a small stump of horn. Despite the obvious determination of the poachers, the authorities are reluctant to provide the conservators with suitable weaponry to protect these endangered animals.
We are truly heartbroken and devasted by this barbaric act.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Email:
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website: www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

 
 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
 
6th February 2011
 
SNARE REMOVALS
 
Thanks to various donors who have helped us to import the tranquilizer, M99, in particular the RSPCA and the Born Free Foundation, a number of snares have been removed from animals in the wild. A big thank you also to the brave people who risk their lives to remove the snares.
 
Esther and Hans van der Meer of the Painted Dog Conservation in Hwange have made good use of the M99. Esther and Hans were actually looking for a snared African wild dog when they were alerted to the fact that there was a young elephant bull with a wire snare around his trunk at Kanondo. They abandoned their search of the wild dog and went to remove the snare from the elephant.
 
The following morning, the managed to find the wild dog and removed a snare from him as well.
 
Prior to this, Sharon Pincott alerted Esther and Hans to be on the lookout for Gwenneth, one of the Presidential Elephants who had a wire snare deeply embedded in her leg. They eventually found her at Mpofu Pan and she was having a lot of difficulty walking. They had a hard time removing the snare because it was embedded right down to the bone but the snare removal was successful and Gwenneth is doing well now.
 
 
Last year, Sharon contacted Esther and Hans again about another member of the Presidential Herd, Adwina who also had a snare embedded in her leg. They came to her rescue and removed the snare.
 
                                                                                                   
They also removed snares from 2 buffalo, one of whom recovered nicely. The other was in poor condition and his injuries were so severe that, sadly, he died.
 
Another recipient of the donated M99 is Brent Staplekamp of the Lion Research Project in Hwange National Park. Brent successfully removed a snare from an elephant bull recently.  We would like to thank the SAVE Foundation of Australia who supplied Brent with various veterinary supplies such as tools, syringes etc.
 
NEWS ON SHARON PINCOTT
 

In our November 2010 newletter, we included a statement from Sharon regarding her eviction from Hwange Safari Lodge. We are now pleased to be able to report that we have been advised of some positive new developments with one of the existing lodges in Hwange, and all going well we hope to be able to report in our next newsletter that this is where Sharon Pincott will soon be operating out of. Our thanks for now go to those from Dawn Properties (a company, it should be clarified, that is not owned or controlled by African Sun) – soon to commence building a new luxury camp on the Hwange Estate, which they will manage themselves – who reaffirmed their support of Sharon’s work and access to land where these elephants roam, so that her crucial long-term monitoring of Zimbabwe’s flagship herd can continue.

 

We trust that everyone will support those conservation-minded safari lodges that support our long-term wildlife warriors. Without our dedicated conservationists on the ground, complementing the efforts of the Parks Authority, there would certainly be less wildlife for us all to enjoy. We also encourage you to read Sharon ’s latest blog story. Go to www.sharonpincott.com and take the link on the home-page to her Getaway blog. There is something for everyone to think about in this short Christmas story -  “What will you do in 2011 to make a difference?”

 
HUNTING IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
 
We have received a report that 5 elephants and 3 buffalo were shot by sports hunters at Main Camp in Hwange National Park during the last week of January this year.
 
Lawrence van Aswegan and Allison Smith, safari operators believed to be based in South Africa have been offering hunts of Non Trophy Elephants INSIDE Hwange National Park. They claim that Parks and Wildlife Management are selling these hunts as part of a culling programme in order to raise money for parks. It has also been reported that only female elephants are to be targeted which makes matters even worse because many of the females have calves. The females move in family groups as opposed to the males which very often wander around alone.  To target females means destroying family units and leaving orphaned babies behind.  This is extremely traumatic for the families of the elephants shot and there have been numerous instances of elephants traumatized in this way, attacking humans. We have emailed National Parks to try and get confirmation of this but we have not received a reply.
 
National Parks claim that Zimbabwe is over populated with elephant, citing the numbers at around 100 000. If there are so many, we can't help wondering why it is necessary to shoot elephant inside a protected national park.
 
LAKE CHIVERO RESORTS INVADED
 
Lake Chivero is a retreat 20km from Harare. Along the shores of the lake are a number of fishing clubs, boating clubs, holiday flats, caravan parks and camping sites. War veterans have started invading these tourist resorts.
 
Of particular concern is the Kuimba Shiri Bird Sanctuary, previously known as Admiral's Cabin. This resort is very popular with tourists because of the 450 species of beautiful exotic birds there. President Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao has been linked to the lake side invasions and he is especially interested in Kuimba Shiri. The intention of the war veterans is apparently to take over the tourism facilities and hand them over to senior ZANU PF officials.
 
GPS PROTECTION FOR RHINOS AT SOMKHANDA GAME RESERVE
 
Somkhanda Game Reserve in Zululand is home to 7 white rhinos and after losing 2 rhinos to poachers last year, a specialised GPS unit has been utilized to try and save the remaining rhino from the same fate. The unit is placed into the horn and relays information on the tagged animal every 60 seconds. The tracking technology is designed to give early warning on potential poaching occurrences by noting irregular movements of the animal. Somkhanda is one of the first community-owned nature reserves in South Africa.
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

 

 
 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
 
25th January 2011
 
 
POACHERS KILL 7 RHINOS
 
In the past two weeks, 7 rhinos have been killed by poachers. Last year, 22 rhinos were killed and this year has not started well with 7 dead already.
 
5 rhinos were killed in the Matopas National Park just outside Bulawayo and 2 in Ruware Ranch near Chiredzi. Both areas are intensive rhino protection zones and the poachers are using rifles with silencers or poison to kill the rhinos.
 
The Director General of National Parks, Vitalis Chadenga stated that there is evidence that the poachers are well resourced and from syndicates outside the country and are working in cahoots with unruly local elements. Investigations have revealed that communities living adjacent to conservancies are harbouring poachers and in some cases, former members of the police and army have been found poaching or assisting poachers.
 
LIONS STARVING
 
44 lions are on the verge of starvation on a farm near Masvingo. The owner of the farm, Ronnie Sparrow was forcibly evicted by former ZANU PF Provincial Chairman, retired army major, Alex Mudavanhu. It has been alleged by a farm worker that one of the lionesses ate her cubs to stave off her hunger. National Parks are doing their best to feed the lions with meat from Carswell and Montana abattoirs but are facing constant challenges transporting the meat to the site.
 
The conservation veterinary trust, AWARE together with VAWZ immobilized the 44 lions and treated them for ticks, fleas and worms. They also gave them vitamin injections and treated several nasty injuries. There is a critical shortage of drinking water for the lions and AWARE is appealing to the public for assistance in piping water from Lake Kyle which is 900 metres away.
 
THANK YOU
 
Finally, we would like to thank the following people who have recently assisted us with funds:
 
John and Helen Buckle
Hugh Atkinson
Claire Ives
Terry Paul-Edwards
Neil Okrent
Samantha Vieira
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

 

Global Gulag is a fervent supporter of the efforts of ZCTF

ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE
 
14th December 2010
 
As 2010 draws to a close, we realize that it hasn't been a very good year for the wildlife or the environment. It has also been a very sad year with the deaths of Steve Kok, Don Hornsby and Pete Evershed who were all killed by wild animals. Hopefully 2011 will be better. We wish all our readers a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
 
RESTAURANT AND BAR IN THE VICTORIA FALLS RAIN FOREST
 
A 120 seater restaurant, bar and merchandise shop has been established in the Victoria Falls Rain Forest. Victoria Falls is a National Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the establishment of this commercial enterprise is in violation of the rules governing National Heritage Sites. The rules state that there shall be no further infrastructural development in the rain forest, apart from the upgrading of existing structures. It is also ruled that in a National Monument such as the Victoria Falls Rain Forest, there shall be no outlet that sells food and beverages.
 
In view of the number of people that the restaurant can accommodate, there will now be a greatly increased number of people wandering through the rainforest and there are not sufficient ablution facilities to cater for them.
 
Of greatest concern is the possibility that Victoria Falls Rain Forest is now in danger of losing its status as a National Heritage Site.
 
COAL MINING IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
 
I recently travelled to Hwange National Park and was dismayed to discover that on the road into Sinamatella Camp, you now travel through an ugly coal mining area. There are great deposits of earth alongside the road as well as heavy duty mine vehicles. We have also had reports that there are two more coal mines inside the National Park near Robins Camp.
 
CHINESE MINING IN THE MAVHURADONHA MOUNTAINS
 
Mavhuradonha means 'place of the falling water' and is a natural environment of great beauty with crystal clear water and fresh mountain air. 
 
Residents of the area, however are desperately concerned about the illegal mining operations being conducted by the Chinese in their search for chrome. The Chinese are literally ripping up the beautiful countryside just outside the wilderness area but they are closing in fast.
 
According to reports, they are mining without prospecting orders or permits and no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done.
 
 Further reports have been received that the Chinese are also starting mining operations in the Nyamaneche Game Park in Mvurwi. Apparently there were 9 rhino in the game park, 6 of which have now been poached. The remaining 3 were supposed to be relocated but it is believed that they too have been poached.
 

   

                                            THE MAVHURADONHA WILDERNESS

   

                                     DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE MINING OPERATIONS

 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

 
 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
 
11th October 2010
 
WILDIFE SLAUGHTERED FOR ZANU PF RALLY
 
Last Thursday, 7th October 2010, in Gokwe, President Robert Mugabe held a ZANU PF rally combined with the official opening of the Women's Empowerment Bank.
 
In order to entice people to attend this event, 3 elephant, 3 buffalo and a number of smaller animals were shot and cooked. It is common knowledge that under the current economic climate, many people in the rural areas are starving and will make an effort to attend any function where free food is available.
 
VILLAGERS RESORT TO EATING BABOON MEAT
 
The baboon population in Mwenezi is in danger of being wiped out as villagers in the area have resorted to eating them in an effort to avert hunger and starvation.
 
Prior to the Land Reform Programme in 2000, Mwenezi had an abundance of wildlife but everything was slaughtered by the land invaders shortly after 2000. Baboons are now the only animals left there.
 
Mwenezi is a very dry area, suitable only for game farming and the villagers say they are now killing the baboons in desperation in order to feed their families. Under normal circumstances, humans would not dream of eating baboon meat but the villagers feel they have no option since their appeals to the government for assistance have fallen on deaf ears.
 
26 SUSPECTED RHINO POACHERS ARRESTED IN SOUTH AFRICA
 
We would like to congratulate the South Africa Police, National Parks and the Hawks for their sterling efforts in trying to combat the rhino poaching problem in South Africa. In the past few weeks, 26 suspected rhino poachers have been apprehended.
 
Amongst those arrested was a large group of 11 suspects, including well known South African businessman, Dawie Groenewald and his wife, Sariette. The Groenewalds own Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris - an outfit that has frequently been linked to illegal hunting and poaching. The 11 poachers were released on bail pending the court case in April 2011.  Dawie Groenewald wasted no time paying his bail of one million rand.
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.
 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
 
22nd September 2010
 
INVASION OF DENLYNIAN AND TAMARI WILDLIFE FARM
 
It is now 10 years since the implementation of the Land Reform Programme and the very few game farms we have left, are still being invaded.
 
I recently paid a visit to Denlynian and Tamari Wildlife Farm in the Beit Bridge area, after receiving reports that this property was invaded by a group calling themselves "Zhove Conservancy Co-operative." The members of this group include Police, Army, Civil Servants, Rural Council Employees, War Vets and ZANU PF activists.
 
The invaders have spent the past 10 years vandalising the properties and slaughtering the wildlife which was previously quite abundant. They have been especially targeting zebra and eland. The eland population has dropped from 973 to 374 - a loss of 560 animals and the zebra population has fallen from 871 to 163 - a loss of 708 animals. The invaders have slaughtered 300 zebra for their skins in the past 2 months alone.   
 
The owners of the properties checked with the Deeds Registry and found that there is no such organization as the Zhove Conservancy Co-operative registered. They took legal action against the invaders and the courts ruled that the invaders be evicted but this has been ignored and the police are reluctant to assist.
         
In addition to the decimation of the wildlife, the invaders have also burnt approximately 200 hectares of trees, most of which have been standing for the past 300 years. No Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out and they are creating an ecological disaster. The game farms are situated in a low rainfall area which is only suitable for wildlife and the ecosystem there is now so fragile that if the land is tilled, the soil will end up in the river.
 
7km of 16 strand game fencing has been stolen to make wire snares - making a total of 112 km of wire. All that remains of the game fencing are the bare poles.    
 
We have just received an update that 7 animals were killed last weekend, comprising eland, impala and wildebeest and the slaughter is continuing as we speak.
 
Thanks to the donations we received of M99, a wire snare was removed from a buffalo bull on Dett Vlei recently.
 
Esther van der Meer of Painted Dog Conservation was alerted to the fact that a buffalo bull was wandering around with a copper wire snare around its neck. Esther, with the assistance of her husband and Peter Blinston darted the animal and successfully removed the snare.
 
 
ELEPHANTS PERISH IN FIRE
 
Ten elephants were burned to death during a bush fire at Derbyshire Ranch in Shangani, Matabeleland South Province.
 
It is alleged that widespread bush fires have engulfed much of Zimbabwe and most of them are started deliberately, mainly by hunters to clear the bushes. In the past few weeks, ten people have also died as a result of the bush fires.
 
NARROW ESCAPE FOR GEOFF BLYTH
 
On the 6th September, a Kariba resident, Geoff Blyth was attacked by an elephant. Geoff, who does a lot of work assisting with snare removals etc., was riding his bicycle for exercise along the Power Line Road near Chawara in Kariba when he saw an elephant cow nearby in the bush. To his horror, the elephant started to charge him. He pedalled as fast as he could to try and get away but then the bicycle chain came off so he jumped off the bicycle and started running for his life. He couldn't find anywhere to take refuge and the elephant was gaining on him so he threw himself into a shallow ditch full of sand by the side of the road.
 
He curled up in a foetal position and the elephant pinned him down with her knee and ran her left tusk through his back. Her right tusk pierced his upper thigh, just missing his femoral artery. She finally backed off and Geoff was rushed to hospital in Harare where he had to undergo surgery.
 
Geoff was very lucky to escape with his life and he attributes this to the sand he was lying in which cushioned him against the weight of the elephant.
 
There has been a lot of shooting of elephants, not only in Kariba but country-wide and due to this, the elephants have become extremely skittish and dangerous. We would like to warn everyone to exercise extreme caution when elephants are in the vicinity. 
 
ELEPHANTS KILLED BY POACHERS
 
Three weeks ago, 13 elephants were killed by a gang of poachers in the Hurungwe Safari area.
 
National Parks have recovered 8 of the tuskless carcasses and are still searching for the remaining five.
 
On the 10th September, Hurungwe and Guruve Police arrested the gang of 9 poachers after they tried to evade the police at a road block. Upon searching their vehicle, the police found 25 tusks, elephant tails, an unlicenced rifle and machetes.
 
In March, 10 elephant carcasses were found in Gonarezhou National Park and it is believed that international poachers were behind the crime.
 
SUSPECTED RHINO POACHERS ARRESTED
 
7 suspected rhino poachers were arrested in the Chiredzi area recently and a 303 rifle fitted with a silencer, telescopic sight and a carbine was recovered. The suspects consisted of 3 South Africans and 4 Zimbabweans.
 
The latest poaching activities in the Save Valley Conservancy resulted in the death of a rhino, leaving its calf badly wounded by gunshots. National Parks have deployed a team that is currently on high alert following the heightened poaching activities.
 
GROENEWALD ARRESTED
 
We are very pleased to announce that Dawie Groenewald and his wife, Sariette of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris were arrested in South Africa in connection with rhino poaching.
 
They were arrested on Monday along with a professional hunter, Tielman Erasmus, 2 veterinarians, Dr Karel Toet and Dr Manie du Plessis, and Toet's wife, Marisa.
 
Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris have been linked to unethical and illegal hunting for several years and were banned from hunting in Zimbabwe in 2004.
 
 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211

 
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

 
 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
 
14th August 2010
 
 
THE TRAGIC DEATH OF STEVE KOK
            
 
                                                                                                          STEVE KOK
 
It is with profound sadness and regret that we announce that Steve Kok was killed by a buffalo near Charara on Thursday, 12th August 2010.
 
Steve drove off into the bush late on Thursday afternoon to try and locate a wounded buffalo. According to reports, the buffalo had lost one of its legs due to a snare wound. When Steve didn't return, a search party went out and found his vehicle on the powerline road near Charara. They found his body about 160 metres from the vehicle and it is thought that he was killed by the wounded buffalo he was trying to locate.
 
Steve is going to be missed very badly by humans and animals alike.  For the past few years, he woke up at 5 o'clock every morning of the year and scoured the bush for wire snares. Thanks to him, hundreds of animals were saved from an agonizing death.  Steve never received any payment and very little recognition for his selfless efforts to preserve the wildlife. He did it because he was desperately concerned about the dwindling numbers of animals in Kariba and his only reward was just knowing he had made a difference.
 
I will always remember Steve as a quiet, humble, unassuming person, never looking for credit and his death is a huge blow for the wildlife in Kariba.
 
Our sincere condolences to his wife, Trish and his whole family on the loss of a very special man.
 
 
 
 
 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211

 
       ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
8th June 2010
 
TRAGEDY AT CHIPANGALI
 
On the 1st of June 2010, Robyn Lotz, a 26 year old volunteer at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage near Bulawayo, was attacked and killed by a fully grown male lion. 
 
The lion had been moved into a security cage while Robyn and several other workers were loading bales of fresh grass into the main cage. Tragically, one of the workers had neglected to close the gate of the security cage properly and the lion attacked and pulled Robyn to the ground, seizing the back of her head in his mouth. Kevin Wilson, the proprietor of Chipangali shot the lion in an effort to save Robyn's life but sadly, she died upon arrival at the hospital.
 
We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Robyn's family and to all those at Chipangali who were involved in this horrific incident.
 
THE DEATH OF THE MUSANGO BULL ELEPHANT
 
The Musango Bull Elephant was a magnificent animal, considered by some to be part of Zimbabwe's national heritage. He lived on the shores of Lake Kariba near the Bumi Hills area. On the 23rd of May 2010, he was shot in the Omay North area by a professional hunting organization despite the fact that he was wearing a clearly visible satellite tracking collar. For more details, see the pamphlet attached. If anybody would like to sign the petition, please email me.
 
SHARON PINCOTT - ELEPHANT AMBASSADOR
 

In the midst of this latest elephant-related controversy, I looked back at a recent Getaway magazine (April 2010) to a short article about the capture of wild elephants in Zimbabwe, that raised hope in many. Sharon Pincott has worked with the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe for the past decade, and last year was appointed Getaway’s ‘Elephant Ambassador in Africa’ – an ideal platform for her to encourage tourists back to Zimbabwe. For those of you who haven’t seen this edition of the magazine, you can read the article as well as other 'Elephant Ambassador' articles on Sharon's website - www.sharonpincott.com.  It is tragic that the ‘celebration’ referred to didn’t last for long. I can only reiterate Sharon’s words: “never turn a deaf ear when mankind gives [the elephants] reason to cry”.

 

ANIMALS DYING ON STARVATION ISLAND

 

Starvation Island which previously had an area of 5 square kilometres has now shrunk to a third of its size due to rising water in Lake Kariba. Approximately 200 animals are in immediate danger of starving to death and some have already died or drowned in a desperate attempt to swim to the mainland, 3 kilometres away.

 

Elephants have managed to escape by swimming to the mainland but the smaller species such as kudu, buck, warthogs and monkeys are too weak to survive the marathon swim. Rescuers have managed to save some of the buck by holding their heads out of the water by their horns for the last stretch of their escape.

 

The animals are too weak to be darted and moved to the mainland so conservationists are trying to raise funds to feed the animals with hay bales and food blocks.

 

SILENT AUCTION

 

In an effort to raise funds, we would like to auction this painting by Cheryl Rodrigues.

 

 

LONE RANGER

 

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

DIMENSIONS: 80cm x 60cm

RESERVE PRICE: USD2 000

CLOSING DATE: 30th June 2010

 

Shipping costs will be for the account of the buyer.

 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211

Dear All
 
Dr Joyce Poole is very kindly assisting us in trying to prevent the animals from being exported from Hwange National Park to a zoo in North Korea. She has written a very strong letter to the Director of National Parks (attached) and we would be grateful if you could email her on jpoole@elephantvoices.org to indicate your support of the letter, as per her request below.
 
Regards
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213
Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 3:17 PM
Subject: URGENT SIGNATURES NEEDED: Zimbabwe baby elephants destined for North Korea


Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to enlist your support. For those of you who are receiving a second elephant capture letter within the course of a week, we didn't anticipate this news from Zimbabwe!
As you may be aware, Zimbabwe is in the process of catching and preparing a number of animals, including two infant elephants, to send to North Korea in a transaction described by the Director General of National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority as ‘a business arrangement’.
I have drafted a letter to the Director of National Parks urging him to stop this process for many reasons (see letter that follows) and I am writing to ask if you can help in three ways:
a) Please consider adding your name, title and institution (if relevant) to the letter. If you do so please would you let me know directly on jpoole@elephantvoices.org. Since we have the attention of the world's media now, we must send the letter out in the next 24 hours, so please respond with all urgency. 
b) As soon as your names are incorporated, I will send you a copy of the final letter. Would you then please circulate the letter with your own cover note to any personal press and media contacts in your area that you think could be interested. Born Free will get it on the wire to Reuters, PA, etc.,
c) Would you also post the details of this situation on your website (if appropriate and you have one) and bring this to the attention of the public. We are encouraging people to signify their support for the campaign set up by Born Free to help end the live export of wild elephants and other animals. For details please go to www.bornfree.org.uk/ark  

Please note that we are having some technical difficulties and will be adding the links while we await your names and titles. 
 
Many, many thanks,


Joyce Poole, PhD
Director, ElephantVoices



_________________________________

Joyce Poole, PhD, Elephantvoices 
Buskhellinga 3, 3236 Sandefjord, Norway 
Tel: +47 33478817 - Cell: +47 45664564 

ElephantVoices, US (EIN 26-3462274) 
23 Wolfback Ridge Rd. 
Sausalito, CA 94965, USA 
Cell: +1 415-332-2646 

skype: elephantvoices



Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to enlist your support. For those of you who are receiving a second elephant capture letter within the course of a week, we didn't anticipate this news from Zimbabwe!
 
As you may be aware, Zimbabwe is in the process of catching and preparing a number of animals, including two infant elephants, to send to North Korea in a transaction described by the Director General of National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority as ‘a business arrangement’.
 
I have drafted a letter to the Director of National Parks urging him to stop this process for many reasons (see letter that follows) and I am writing to ask if you can help in three ways:
 
a) Please consider adding your name, title and institution (if relevant) to the letter. If you do so please would you let me know directly on jpoole@elephantvices.org. Since we have the attention of the world's media now, we must send the letter out in the next 24 hours, so please respond with all urgency.
 
b) As soon as your names are incorporated, I will send you a copy of the final letter. Would you then please circulate the letter with your own cover note to any personal press and media contacts in your area that you think could be interested. Born Free will get it on the wire to Reuters, PA, etc.,
 
c) Would you also post the details of this situation on your website (if appropriate and you have one) and bring this to the attention of the public. We are encouraging people to signify their support for the campaign set up by Born Free to help end the live export of wild elephants and other animals. For details please go to www.bornfree.org.uk/ark 

Please note that we are having some technical difficulties and will be adding the links while we await your names and titles.
 
Many, many thanks,


Joyce Poole, PhD
Director, ElephantVoices
 

_________________________________

Joyce Poole, PhD, Elephantvoices
Buskhellinga 3, 3236 Sandefjord, Norway
Tel: +47 33478817 - Cell: +47 45664564

ElephantVoices, US (EIN 26-3462274)
23 Wolfback Ridge Rd.
Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Cell: +1 415-332-2646

jpoole@elephantvoices.org
info@elephantvoices.org
www.elephantvoices.org
www.facebook.com/ElephantVoices
www.facebook.com/ElephantVoices4U
skype: elephantvoices

 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
13th May 2010
 
HWANGE ANIMALS BOUND FOR KOREAN ZOO
 
We were recently informed that in accordance with a Presidential Decree, two of every species of animal in Hwange National Park are to be captured and sent to a zoo in North Korea. According to the report, the animals will include two eighteen month old elephant calves. It is believed that this is a "gift" from the President of Zimbabwe to the President of Korea.
 
Capture and spotting teams have been seen in the park and there have been reports of armed men standing around key waterholes waiting for the game to appear so they can radio the information back to the capture teams. There have also been reports of National Parks vehicles towing cages around.
 
A National Parks informant has confirmed that the animals are being kept in quarantine in bomas at Umtshibi in Hwange National Park and will leave for Korea very soon. Elephant experts do not think there is much chance that the 2 young elephants will survive the trip.
 
HWANGE ANIMALS RELOCATED TO FARM.
 
A prominent official in the Central Intelligence Organization has been allocated a farm in the Mutare area and according to reports, his farm has been stocked with wildlife from Hwange National Park. Apparently, no Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out to ascertain whether or not the habitat is suitable for the animals.
 
We have withheld the name of the CIO official but can release it upon request.
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/18/mugabes-noahs-ark-gift-to-kim-jong-il-sparks-outrage/?hpt=C2

 
        ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
7th February 2010
 
MOTOR BIKE FOR STEVE KOK
 
Steve Kok lives in Charara and for the past few years, has been waking up at 5 o'clock every morning, 365 days a year, and walking through the bush collecting snares. He has become a familiar sight to people who frequent Charara, walking through the bush with his little dog.
 
When Steve first took up residence in Charara 13 years ago, there was an abundance of wildlife in the area including a herd of 650 buffalo. For the first 5 years or so, he watched in frustration and  dismay as the wildlife dwindled before his eyes. Today, there are very few animals left in Charara and there are only 65 buffalo left out of the original 650.
 
Steve decided to try and minimise the decimation of the wildlife by collecting wire snares from the bush and numerous animals have been saved from a gruesome lingering death by the removal of these snares. He mentioned to Kevin Horsley a few weeks ago that if he had an off-road bike, he would be able to collect a lot more snares than he has been doing on foot so in our January newsletter, we mentioned that we were looking for a bike for him.
 
In response to our request, Jenni Ferguson and the members of Mabelreign Country Club in Harare organized a fund raiser and purchased a brand new 200cc off road bike for Steve. We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Jenni for all the time and effort she put in to this very successful event which raised a total of $2 450.00. The cost of the bike was $1 895.00 and the balance of $550.00 was donated to Steve for fuel and maintenance.
 
 
 
                                                                             STEVE'S NEW BIKE
 
On Friday, 5th February, Steve was officially presented with the bike at Mabelreign Country Club. Thank you very much to Kish Desai who has insured the bike for $2000 for a year, free of charge.
 
 
                                                   
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: CHARLIE WOODS, CHAIRMAN
OF MABELREIGN COUNTRY CLUB, JOHNNY RODRIGUES,
JENNI FERGUSON AND STEVE KOK.
 
 
 
THE MABELREIGN COUNTRY CLUB FUNDRAISING TEAM
 
A special thank you to my 11 year old granddaughter, Kylie Randall who donated a packet of dog food to Steve for his little dog. She bought the food with her pocket money - thank you so much Kylie!
 
 
KYLIE DONATING THE DOG FOOD
 
A very big thank you to the following people and members of Mabelreign Country Club who either assisted with the fundraiser and/or donated money towards it:
 
Jenni Ferguson
Charlie Wood
Jules Bennett
John Grant
Tony Roberts
Christine Stanford
Rob White
Kylie Randall
Shane Rodrigues
Rob Osborne
Larry Norman
Mike and Angie Gleig
Tony Smith
Club staff
 
We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the following people and companies who donated prizes for the raffles:
 
Dulux Limited
Zenith Distributors
Spar Arundel
Ballantyne KwikSpar
Spar Strathaven
Spar Julius Nyerere
Autoguard
Billy's Meats
The Cage Bar and Restaurant
Breco International
Rhino Island
Nutrichem
St Elmo's Restaurant
Seed Co
Tacoola
Tango Tyres
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211


 
          ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE         
 
 
13th December 2009
 
 
WINKEN, BLINKEN AND NOD.
 
2 months ago, The Travers at Imire knew that Tatenda's best friend, Hogwash the warthog, had given birth to piglets but despite their best efforts, they were unable to locate the babies. Every time they discovered the burrow where Hogwash was hiding with her new family, she would move to a new burrow. For 2 months, she visited the rhino pens to find food but she came alone.
 
Then recently, all of a sudden, Hogwash trotted up to Shanu and Tatenda followed by 3 tiny little piglets who have been named Winken, Blinken and Nod. Shanu and Tatenda have happily accepted the new additions to their family.
 
 
 
A sincere thanks to the following people who have recently assisted us with funds:
 
Lawrence and Sandy King
Dorian Richardson
Sarah McGarghan
Sharise Dutlow and the Harare Gun Club
 
We would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year and to appeal to those of you who are spending the festive season in wildlife areas not to feed or interfere with the animals if you are lucky enough to see any.
 
At this time of year, it is difficult to forget the despicable behaviour of some of those who attended  the Charara New Years party 2 years ago, which resulted in the death of our big friend Tusker aka Dustbin. My son, Shane has designed a poster which hopefully will discourage any potential Charara party goers from terrorizing the animals again.
 
 
 
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211





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