Two suspected poachers were killed by Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers at the weekend following a gun battle in the Zambezi Valley.

Tinashe Farawo, the Zimparks spokesperson, said the poachers were killed in the Rifa area of Chirundu. He told Victoria Falls Live: 

Over the weekend there was an armed contact with suspected poachers in Chirundu where two suspects were shot dead.

The rangers managed to recover a rifle, a freshly poached ivory and investigations are in progress.

He did not provide further details on the incident but warned that Zimparks rangers would shoot to kill if they encountered armed poachers in wildlife protected areas.

Ballooning poaching cases come as the government is saying funding conservation activities such as anti-poaching operations is increasingly difficult due to a lack of funds.

Zimbabwe is strongly pushing for the removal of the global ban on the sale of ivory so that it can sell its $600 million worth of ivory stockpiles.

Zimparks director-general Fulton Mangwanya told VicFallsLive in an earlier interview that ivory buyers in Asian countries were promoting poaching activities by providing an illegal market for ivory, hence the push to have Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) trade ban lifted.

Source: Pindula News