Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
WILD animals killed 40 people and injured 30 in 2017, as human -wildlife conflict continues, especially in areas close to conservancies. Speaking at a pass out parade of rangers and dog handlers in Hwange recently, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said 95 animals were killed to save human life.
“Human and wildlife issues are topical at the moment,” she said.
“In 2017, 40 people were killed and 30 injured due to conflict with wildlife.
“At the same time, as a response measure, 95 wildlife species were killed in order to save human life.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority received 346 cases of human-wildlife conflict, with 65 percent coming from Masvingo and Manicaland provinces.
She said at least 316 of the cases were attended to despite the shortage of resources.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said habitat loss for wildlife was among the major drivers of human-wildlife conflict.
She urged people to desist from illegally settling in wildlife territories.
“Save Valley Conservancy is one such example where over 16 000 families have settled in wildlife corridors and wildlife areas,” she said.
“In turn, our wildlife has responded by destroying crops, passing on diseases such as foot and mouth, killing livestock and at times people.
“I want to appeal to illegal settlers to desist from settling in wildlife buffer zones, wildlife corridors and their habitat.
“Only 13 percent of the total land in Zimbabwe is reserved for wildlife, the rest is for forestry and other human related activities.
“I urge our leadership, especially the traditional institutions to respect this 13 percent.”
Article Source: The Herald