A SUSPECTED poacher was killed while four others fled when they were busted by rangers at Hwange National Park last week.
The deceased’s name has not yet been released as police and the Parks and wildlife management (Zimparks) are yet to notify his next of kin.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
“Our parks rangers shot dead a suspected poacher while four others fled from the scene. We are carrying out our investigations to hunt down the other four suspects that fled,” he said.
Farawo said the deceased was found in possession of ivory and a firearm at the scene where they were caught by the rangers.
“We found a .375 rifle, 20 rounds of ammunition and 19 elephant tusks among their possessions,” said Farawo.
The Zimparks manager said the loot was confiscated and will be used as exhibits and evidence if the other suspects are caught.
Farawo said the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority was continuing with its zero tolerance to poaching in its anti-poaching drive, which he said had made strides in the fight against poaching.
He said they suspected that the suspects that fled were not Zimbabweans and may have skipped the border.
“We suspect that some of them were not Zimbabweans but are from neighbouring Zambia. They are suspected to have crossed the border over to the neighbouring country. We are working tirelessly in our anti-poaching drives and we will bring all culprits to book,” he said.
Last month a suspected poacher was shot and killed by rangers in Manicaland.
Farawo said they would not show mercy in dealing with poachers as they were also a danger to rangers.
“We will not show any mercy to poachers because they are a danger to the rangers. They are dangerous criminals who are often armed. We will, therefore, not show any mercy.”