elephantFrom : Allafrica.com
5 March 2012

TWO poachers were shot dead while another one was injured in a shootout with game rangers in Mkanga Safari Area in eastern Zambezi Valley last week.

The rangers recovered an elephant tusk, a .303 Lee-Enfield rifle, seven rounds of ammunition, food and clothes.

Parks and Wildlife Management Authority regional manager Mr Tawanda Gotosa confirmed the incident, which occurred last Sunday.

“We received a report that four gunshots were heard in the morning of a heavy calibre at around 7am at Kachowe area,” said Mr Gotosa.

“Our rangers responded and exchanged fire with the poachers and they shot and killed two and wounded another.”

He said there were no casualties among the rangers.

Mr Gotosa said the poachers had no identification particulars on them and their bodies were taken to Karoi Hospital mortuary.

The incident, said Mr Gotosa, should send a serious warning to would-be poachers.

Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya Moyo said any illegal entry into Parks’ estates for the purposes of poaching could be deadly.

She said the authority did not tolerate corruption.

Last year it fired two workers over poaching.

“Like any other institution, the authority has bad apples, but will remain alive and alert to any such issues.

“Last year we dismissed two employees over Impala poaching,” she said.