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Zimbabwe Army Burning Carcasses of Cyanide-Poisoned Elephants

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

A group of elephants, believed to have been killed by poachers, lie dead at a watering hole in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. Picture taken Oct. 26, 2015.

A group of elephants, believed to have been killed by poachers, lie dead at a watering hole in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. Picture taken Oct. 26, 2015.

The army has taken over the disposal of carcasses of elephants and other animals and birds that died of cyanide poisoning in the Hwange National Park, according to Johnny Rodriguez, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

Rodriguez told VOA Studio 7 information at hand indicates that the army is leading in the burning of the carcasses but the process of cleaning up and detoxifying polluted drinking wells and rivers has not started.

Studio 7 failed to get a comment from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management and the Zimbabwe National Army.

But Rodriguez said the army has sealed off the park to locals and is only allowing tourists in.

“There is so many military people up there that I do believe are only letting in tourists,” Rodriguez says.

He added that all the suspicious people are not allowed into the park.

In 2013, the Parks Department was assisted by the Environmental Management Authority in cleaning up and detoxifying cyanide that was used by poachers to kill elephants, several vultures and other carnivores in the Hwange National Park.

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