Poaching continues to threaten the existence of wildlife in Gwanda District, hence the need to involve local communities in trophy hunting as part of wildlife conservation strategies.
Speaking on the sidelines of a consultative workshop on Leopard Safari Hunting, an independent wildlife researcher, Natty Purchase, told ZBC News that the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority had embarked on a pilot project in Gwanda District aimed at managing Leopard Trophy Hunting.
She said the project will involve the amalgamation of properties into clusters to ensure that leopard exist freely within an ecosystem.
She however expressed concern over poaching activities saying it is important to find ways of militating these illegal activities that are threatening the existence of leopards and other wildlife.
A local safari operator, Mr. Charles Mleya Kibi, said as new players in the industry apart from the problem of poaching, they lacked the knowledge and experience to operate effectively.
Five research studies are currently being carried out in the country to increase knowledge and understanding of leopards.
International safari hunters are also concerned about the high costs of wildlife quotas in the country.