Drones improve sniffing out poachers

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THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has started using drones to detect poachers as part of improved and technology-based conservation strategies.

Three poachers have been shot dead since ZimParks started using drones.

The new technology now enables ZimParks rangers to detect poachers from offices and deploy appropriately.

This year alone, more than 800 poachers have been detected by this technology and more than 600 criminal gangs nabbed.

There were 13 armed contacts resulting in the three fatalities.

The new security measures have seen a sharp decline in the number of wildlife fatalities attributable to poaching.

Before the coming in of President Mnangagwa’s administration 400 to 500 elephants died because of poaching a year, but in the past three years, less than 20 elephants were killed each year by poachers.

ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said they had received huge support from the Government to implement the new conservation methods.

“We have received huge support since the coming in of the new dispensation, right from the highest office.

“The reason why we are detecting more is that we have employed technology and most of the incursions can now be seen just by the click of a button. That is why we are arresting more.

“The use of technology has resulted in the decline and we can now deploy appropriately because this technology helps us to establish the kind of manpower needed before going to counter them,” said Mr Farawo.

ZimParks had recovered rifles and ivory from poachers with Zimbabwe’s top notch conservation methods seeing a huge increase in wildlife numbers.

Zimbabwe has the second largest number of elephants in the world after Botswana.

It boasts of more than 80 000 elephants against the country’s carrying capacity of around 40 000.–herald.co.zw

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