Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in partnership with Wild Aid and Zambezi Society has intensified campaigns in promoting the conservation of animals in different communities around the country.
In an interview with The Herald, ZimParks public relations manager Mr Tinashe Farawo said the aim of the campaign was to promote the conservation of animals, as some were being lost due to poaching and lack of habitat.
“We are grappling with loss of habitat and as a result some animals are dying because there is no water and food,” he said.
“We are also saying communities can work hand-in-hand with us to fight poaching and report to us whenever such offences are being committed.”
Mr Farawo said conflicts between people and the animals had claimed 20 lives since the beginning of the year.
“One of the major reasons why we are intensifying campaigns around issues to do with preservation and sharing more knowledge about the animals is because we have lost about 20 lives since January this year after people were attacked by some animals,” he said.
“That is a huge number, no life is worth lost especially under these circumstances and our goal is to continuously live in harmony with nature.”
Mr Farawo said due to a large number of elephants in the country, they were now facing a challenge of habitat and some were invading human settlements in search of food.
“We are the second country in the world with the largest number of elephants,” he said.
“We have a population of 85 000 elephants against a carrying capacity of about 40 000.
“Hwange alone is sitting on 50 000 against a carrying capacity of 15 000 and this has resulted in the loss of habitat, elephants invading human community settlements in search of water and food, leading to the conflicts and loss of human lives.”
Assistant consultant for Zimbabwe for Wild Aid Mrs Farai Chapoterera said they roped in celebrities to help them disseminate information on the preservation of animals.
Among the celebrities that have endorsed for the campaign are popular Hollywood actress Danai Gurira, musician Jah Prayzah, journalist Rumbidzai Takawira, musician Selmor Mtukudzi and dub poet Albert Nyathi.
“This campaign will see local celebrities on television, radio and on print media advocating for the conservation of Zimbabwe’s wildlife heritage,” said Mr Chapoterera.