Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent
Government is selling off live wild animals to capable breeders in a new de-stocking scheme aimed at protecting the country’s wildlife from dire drought consequences.
This comes as one of the several initiatives that the Government of Zimbabwe has been working on to preserve its wildlife from one of the worst droughts induced by the El Nino weather pattern that has affected the Southern Africa region.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate permanent secretary Mr Prince Mupazviriho said drought impact had to be tackled head on for the survival of most wild animals.
“We have drought and there is no secret to that. Our animals are at a major risk if we do not find a solution earlier,” he said.
“Most of the areas across the country are dry and semi-arid areas which are not good for the survival of our animals and here we are putting a huge effort to ensure that we look after the animals carefully.”
Mr Mupazviriho said it was unfair for the international community to criticise the sale of live animals saying instead of criticising Zimbabwe, the country should be lauded for its good initiatives to protect its wildlife.
“It is a fact that we have a serious drought in the country. In fact, the whole region is suffering drought impact,” he said.
“We are surprised that some people are only out there to condemn what we are doing but ignoring the danger posed to our wildlife if the issue of drought is not dealt with head on.”
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said the scheme would help ease drought impact on the country’s wildlife system.
“In light of the drought that was induced by the El Nino phenomenon, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority intends to de-stock its parks estates through selling some of the wildlife,” read part of the statement.
“The authority is therefore inviting members of the public with the capacity to acquire and manage wildlife to submit their Expression of Interest.”
Zimparks said the process to sell live animals was being handled delicately to ensure that potential buyers were in a safer and good position to cater for the animals.
The authority said only legible buyers would be entertained hence prices of the animal varieties available would only be revealed to committed buyers who would have submitted the required documents.
Elephants, wild beasts, lions, Impalas, zebras are amongst some of the animals up for sale.
Zimparks has also put in several other measures to fight against drought impact on wildlife with efforts in the pipeline to drill a number of boreholes across several national parks countrywide.
In February, President Mugabe declared the 2015-16 agricultural season a national disaster due to the dire effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon that has seen the country receiving below normal rainfall.