A 34-year-old Chivhu man was arrested for allegedly gunning down a bull elephant valued at US$50 000.
The suspect, Loveridge Juru appeared before Kariba Magistrate Tendai Banda facing charges of poaching on Wednesday.
Juru was remanded in custody to 17 March for trial.
Prosecuting, Carren Modina Musiiwa said on 23 September 2020, at around 8 PM, the accused person and two accomplices proceeded to Matusadonha National Park, Kariba armed with a .303 rifle to hunt elephants.
Upon arrival, the gang shot an elephant bull using the firearm and the gunshot was heard by rangers on patrol in the Chura area.
The court heard that the rangers advanced towards the direction of the gunshot and observed from a distance of about 150 metres.
However, they could not positively identify the trio’s faces due to the thicket.
At that moment, a helicopter on routine patrol appeared from above prompting the poachers to flee the scene.
The rangers moved to the scene and discovered a fresh elephant carcass.
The matter was reported to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit (MFFU) at Kariba who attended the scene.
A search was conducted around the cordoned-off area and a .303 cartridge was recovered about 50 metres from the carcass.
The police also recovered a sack containing a homemade knife, an axe, a cap, worksuit bottom, a jersey and denim shorts.
The elephant was skinned and a pair of ivory was recovered and handed over to parks authorities for safe-keeping.
A bullet head was also removed from the animal’s head.
Juru was arrested in September last year for possession of a .303 rifle without a permit.
CID Chiredzi sent the recovered firearm for forensic examinations and it matched the recovered cartridge and bullet head, and Juru was charged with poaching.