The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has crafted an elephant management plan to minimise poaching and maintain the current population which now exceeds 84000 countrywide.

Zimbabwe has an over population of elephants with Hwange National Park currently having 45 000 against a carrying capacity of 12500.

The elephant management plan and policies, which are in line with regional trends, will run until 2020 and are aimed at improving the conservation efforts by implementing new strategies that are set to minimise poaching.

Zimparks Public Relations Manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo said the plan includes revisiting the legislative changes as the authority tightens its zero tolerance to poaching, illegal ivory trade and trafficking.

“We are also looking at the introduction of a draft for the use of cyanide where we are saying anyone found in possession of this dangerous chemical is liable to at least six months in prison without an option to pay a fine,” he said.

Hwange National Park has the highest cases of poaching countrywide and further investigations have revealed that poaching is more rampant in areas where Campfire has failed to bring tangible benefits to the community.