On the 13th of November 2013, three Rangers (names withheld) were out on extended patrol in the Sharu general area in Rifa. Around 0600hrs early in the morning they picked up a spoor of three people coming from the Zambezi River heading inland.
They tracked for a short distance and came across a place where the poachers had camped. The poachers fired at the rangers who also fired back. This led to the poachers fleeing from their camp.
Hereunder is the list of the recoveries that our Rangers recovered.
- 1x AK 47 rifle serial number 386)56
- 1x .375 rifle with erased serial number
- 21x .375 rounds of ammunition
- 16x AK 47 rounds of ammunition and one magazine.
- 2 x aluminium cooking pots and one aluminium plate.
- 15kg mealie meal of Zambian label (Champion breakfast by name)
- 750 iltres cooking oil of Zambian label (OKI packaged in Lusaka)
- 1x lighting torch
- 1x pair of shoes and 1 pair slippers (pata pata type)
- Assortment of clothing including shirts, T shirts, jerseys and trousers.
- 1x hand axe and one ripping knife.
- Some various tablets and water purifying liquid.
- The poachers were Zambians judging from the labels on their belongings and direction from which the spoor was coming.
- The poachers were just entering the park for a poaching expedition.
- The poachers were three in number and the direction of flight was towards the Zambezi River which was less than 5 kilometres from the contact scene.
- It seems the poachers had not shot anything as they had just entered the Park the previous night.
With the onset of the rains and the sprouting of vegetation, poachers take advantage of the environs which they use as cover for their illegal activities. Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority however warns would be poachers that illegal entry into any Parks for the purposes of poaching is suicidal and Parks will be pro active in order to remain on top of the situation. The Authority will continue to take poachers as they come.