Zimbabwe’s anti-poaching drive continues to gain traction after the country recovered 1 000 kilogrammes of ivory and 27 rhino horns with authorities stressing that the war against wild-crimes will be intensified this year.

Effective patrols by the wildlife protection authority have resulted to a significant decline of poaching activities with figures from last year reflecting a sharp decline of poached elephants from a high of 100 elephants poached annually to below 20 killed.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) states that heightened inter-agency anti-poaching patrols have been important in fighting  the scourge of poaching leading to enhanced recoveries on poached ivory, rhino horns and pangolins in 2018.

Zimbabwe has one the strictest laws against pangolin poaching in Africa.

The animals are specially protected under the country’s Parks and Wildlife Act, and illegally possessing or dealing in them attracts a prison sentence of up to 12 years, according to Zimparks.

Despite this penalty traffickers continue to target the mammals to satisfy the illegal international market raising fears that this could lead to the extinction of this species.

At an estimated elephant population of 84 000, Zimbabwe has a healthy stock which makes it a target for syndicated crime.