VICTORIA FALLS – Baby Elephants are being exported to unknown destinations by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZIMPARKS ) with tacit approval from the Mnangagwa Administration, TSTnews can report.
By Onaishe Paloni
Zimbabwe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA) was advised by sources that young elephant calves were loaded into crates and driven from Umtsibi to Victoria Falls Airport.
“We are saddened to learn of the exportation of the unknown number of young elephants to an unknown destination,” An Inspector who did not provide his name for fear of victimization told TSTnews.
“Over the past months ZNSPCA Inspectors have made repeated attempts to gain access to the Zimparks Game Capture Unit located at Umtsibi in Hwange National Park,” Inspector said.
“All attempts were unsuccessful as there were specific instructions to deny entry to our Inspectors. These orders we were told had been handed down from senior Zimparks officials,” He said.
The Inspector told TSTnews that ZNSPCA Inspectors are Government appointed in terms of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (19:09) and their obstruction is a jailable offense.
“We understand a high degree of secrecy and lack of transparency surrounded this particular shipment of young elephants,” He said.
An investigation by TSTnews reveals that from Victoria Falls Airport these elephants were loaded on board a Saudia Cargo B777 freighter Registration HZ-AK71 operating as flight SV3049 whose destination remains unclear.
“Given the lack of transparency, clandestine nature of this shipment, and failure by Zimparks to uphold the rule of law, we appeal to all responsible authorities to conduct a full-scale investigation into this matter including all financial arrangements and transactions,” Inspector said.
Recently Zimbabwe raked in $2.7m for exporting baby elephants to China and the United Arab Emirates which was confirmed by then the Minister of Tourism was Priscah Mupfumira.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority exported a total of 97 sub-adult elephants to China and Dubai between 2012 and 1 January 2018. A total of 93 elephants were exported to China and four were exported to Dubai.
Zimparks Spokesperson Tinashe Farawo was unreachable until the time of the publication.