'Congested Hwange' sees 100 elephants to be relocated to another park

2016-08-26 10:30
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Cape Town - Zimbabwe's wildlife authority is moving 100 elephants from Hwange National Park to another park more than 200 kilometres away as it tries to reduce elephant numbers in the popular reserve, the state Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday.

Said ZBC: "Zimparks is translocating 100 elephants from Hwange National Park to Chizarira National Park to decongest the elephant population which has gone beyond the carrying capacity of Hwange National Park." 

The elephant population in Chizarira has been cut by poaching in recent years, the report said.

The radio did not spell out what moves would be taken to protect these relocated elephants from poachers. ZBC did not say either how the elephants were being moved but it will almost certainly be by road.

Hwange has a large but fluid population of elephants that is often blamed for environmental destruction in the 14,650 kilometre squared park. The elephants are regularly threatened by drought and poachers: around 60 were poisoned with cyanide late in 2015.

There was outrage last year when Zimbabwe sold more than 20 baby elephants from Hwange to a Chinese safari park in Guangzhou. Zimbabwe's total elephant population stood at 82,000 in 2014, according to figures quoted by the official Herald newspaper earlier this month.

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