parks vitalis chadenga.pngThe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority says it has started reinforcing security in rhino zones after the realisation that the business as usual approach will result in the extinction of one of the big five.

By all accounts, rhinoceros poaching in Southern Africa has reached alarming levels to an extent that Zimbabwe is now left with less than 1000 rhinos.

South Africa, which has almost a similar number, is said to have lost more than 300 rhinos to poaching this year alone.

Analysts say if countries with this endangered species continue with the business as usual approach, the animal will be extinct in the next few years.

In an interview, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Director-General, Mr Vitalis Chadenga, who admitted that the rhino population in Zimbabwe is under severe threat and pressure from extinction, said his organisation has started reinforcing security in all rhino zones.

He said, “The present rate of killing represents a serious threat to the country’s rhino populations because of the numbers killed and the manner in which the syndicates are operating, which is extremely efficient and effective.”

Over allegations that some government executives and decision makers are behind poaching, Mr Chadenga said the authority will not hesitate to prosecute anyone regardless of position or influence.

Rhino poaching is driven by the demand for rhino horns, mainly in Asian countries.

This year in Zimbabwe alone, more than 60 people were arrested for rhino poaching.

Six were shot dead while one poacher was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Recently, an international organisation, the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the Western black rhino extinct.