The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) says it is upbeat of achieving a significant reduction in the number of elephants lost due to poaching.

The number of elephants lost due to poaching stood at 159 in 2016 and cumulative figures for 2017 shows a downward trend with only 14 elephants poached during the first five months of the year.

Zimparks Director, Mr Geoffreys Matipano said the anti-poaching activities are yielding desired results with fewer animals poached during the first five months of the year largely due to closer cooperation with private sector and local communities.

“A combination of resource mobilisation efforts and multi-stakeholder approach is paying dividends in the fight against poaching,” he said.

Going forward, the authority said it will focus more on the review of the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire), so that it can bring meaningful benefits to the concerned communities.

The authority said it is also working on strengthen the Anti-Poaching Dogs Unit through more training exercises.

The major challenge in the fight against poaching  across the region has been shortage of resources.

While most regional parks and wildlife authorities are ill-equipped, the poachers on the other hand are more organised and well-funded.