wild dogs.jpgFormer European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Xavier Machel, commended the government of Zimbabwe for taking tourism with the seriousness that it deserves, considering that the country is blessed with unique wild animals that are no longer found in other countries, such as the wild dog.

At a wild dogs fund raising campaign held at Mkuvisi Woodlands in the capital, Mr. Machel, who is now European Union Ambassador to Ethiopia, commended the country’s tourism sector and good wildlife conservation saying it is imperative that government as the major shareholder take the initiative to protect all animals at the verge of extinction such as the wild dog.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said Zimbabwe tourism, which is wildlife-based, has the potential to become the number one contributor to the country’s GDP alongside mining and agriculture.

 

He called for synergies between government and private conservancy owners to make sure all wild animals are protected particularly those at the verge of extinction like the rhino and the wild dogs.

ZTA Board member, Mr. Clive Glen Stockil and African Wildlife Conservation Researcher, Dr Rosemary Groom, dispelled the misconception in the public that wild dogs are rabies carriers, saying they are victims of the disease which is spread from other animals.

 

He said there is need for awareness programs in rural areas and those resettled near conservancies to protect the wild dogs instead of killing them, considering that they are disappearing at alarming rates and they are not a threat to people.

Over the last few years, the wild dog population in Zimbabwe which has declined to around 500, has raised fears of extinction.

 

This has raised the need for good conservation methods and awareness campaigns to protect this rare specie. Research has revealed that the wild dogs are now only concentrated in 3 Southern African countries which are Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.