Zimbabwe arrests 10 for rhino, elephant poaching
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Jul 22 2011 12:44
Authorities in Zimbabwe have arrested 10 people for poaching and unlawful
possession of elephant tusks and rhino horns that they were suspected of
selling to buyers from China, police said Friday.
The suspects, including four former soldiers and four farmers, were arrested
in two separate operations and were apparently targetting Chinese buyers.
"I can confirm the arrests but I can't comment further," said national
police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka.
In the first operation, six suspects were found with two fresh rhino horns
weighing 4.6kg when they fell into a police trap at a local shopping mall,
according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.
The horns were valued at $120 000 by the national wildlife authorities.
The other group was arrested while trying to sell four elephant tusks in the
capital, the paper said, adding that both groups had approached a Chinese
businessman trying to sell him the horns.
Poaching for rhino horns and elephant tusks is a major problem in Zimbabwe,
where wildlife management deteriorated during the country's decade-long
Conservation groups have built protective pens for the targetted black
rhino, with only a few hundred remaining in the country.
Parks authorities say poachers have killed at least 10 rhinos since the
beginning of the year. -- AFP