The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reported the death of a poacher who was shot and killed during a shootout with game scouts in Malilangwe Trust, Chiredzi.
In a statement, seen by Pindula News, police said there were three poachers and the other two escaped. Reads the statement:
The ZRP reports a shooting incident which occurred at Malilangwe Trust, Chiredzi involving game scouts and three poachers on 12/03/22. The trio was spotted in the Conservancy by game wardens before an exchange of fire ensued.
One of the suspects was fatally shot and died while two others escaped. Police recovered a CZ550 rifle fitted with a telescope and loaded with one round in the chamber, two spent cartridges, 7 spent cartridges of MK3 rifle, a bag satchel containing a small iron axe and a flick knife. Investigations are underway.
Poaching attracts varying penalties ranging from fines to lengthy jail sentences depending on the animals poached.
According to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), pangolins are protected by law, therefore, possessing or dealing in them illegally attracts a prison sentence of up to 12 years.
In 2012, one Tichaona Mutyairi, a Zimbabwe rhino poacher with the infamous Mazhongwe gang, was sentenced to 17 years in jail after being captured during an exchange of gunfire with the police in October 2009.
In 2016, Tawengwa Machona, a poacher who was part of a gang that killed two rhinos in the south of the country was sentenced to 35 years in jail.
Zimbabwe is battling to save its few hundred remaining black and white rhinos amid an upsurge in poaching in recent years. Poaching affects the Tourism sector which has been one of the biggest foreign currency earners for the country.