Fears about health risks have risen dramatically in Zimbabwe as poachers began poisoning water holes in many of the country’s biggest game-parks, killing dozens of animals.
Caroline Washaya-Mayo, a spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said waterholes have been contaminated with the unidentified poison at the Gonarezhou, Mana Pools, Zambezi, Charara and Matsudona national parks.
Washaya-Mayo said, “This is the only time we have had cases of poaching involving chemicals,” adding that poachers are using different techniques which are silent and do not raise suspicion.
Two buffaloes, nine elephants, five lions, and several vultures are among the animals known to have died after drinking the water.
Authorities are concerned that the health of nearby villages may be at risk if residents accidentally drink the contaminated water and urged game rangers patrolling the areas to carry their own water.