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Zimbabwe Elephants Threat

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Zimbabwe Elephants Threat

Post  whitestarling on Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:20 pm

Zimbabwe presidential elephants under threat

news/2010_jan/Presidential-Elephant-Herd-Zimbabwe-4-595x396
Copyright: Conservation Action Trust

April 2014: The fallout over a land claim in the Hwange National Park has seen one of the country’s top elephant protectors stepping aside and shutting down a key elephant conservation project.

The Zimbabwe ‘Presidential Elephant Conservation Project’ was founded and has been run by Australian Sharon Pincott since 2001, with the aim of monitoring and protecting the Presidential Elephant Herd. This unique herd of wild elephants are protected by a Presidential decree that took place in 1990 when President Robert Mugabe ruled that the 400 plus elephants that roam the unfenced land outside the reserve should never be culled or hunted. In 2011, Pincott successfully lobbied Robert Mugabe to re-pledge his support for the elephant herd. This was in the face of land invasions, poaching and other threats to Zimbabwe’s elephant population.

Now, 13 years after the Project was launched, the elephants face being left without a caretaker after Pincott announced that she is stopping her work. The announcement has followed a worsening fight caused by the takeover of a piece of land in the Hwange National Park, which serves as the herd’s home range, and which Pincott feels now threatens the well being of that herd.

In a public letter announcing her withdrawal, Pincott listed the repeated failures of government officials to stand by the Decree meant to guarantee the elephants’ safety. She claims that during the reign of former Environment Minister Francis Nhema: "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.

“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 [Kanondo]. 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 this has been allowed to happen shows just how ‘important’ the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe are to the government.

“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."

WS

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Re: Zimbabwe Elephants Threat

Post  Doogs on Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:38 pm

This really is bad news for the elephants of Zimbabwe  Sad  From the article I can understand Sharon Pincott's decision to walk away after the Government has let her down so many times and so badly, it must have been an incredibly hard thing for her to do after all the time and effort she has put into the conservation of the elephants.  

What is now worrying is who will look after these elephants now Sharon has gone  pale Sad Crying or Very sad 
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