100 buf­faloes ar­rive for parks re­stock­ing

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE re­stock­ing of wildlife in Sidinda area in Hwange by Zim­babwe Parks and Wildlife Au­thor­ity (Zim­Parks) has started with the first batch of 100 buf­faloes de­liv­ered last week.

The buf­faloes will be part of nine species of wildlife that will be kept at the con­ser­vancy. The project which falls un­der the Hwange Sany­ati Bi­o­log­i­cal Cor­ri­dor (HSBC) and tar­get­ing Hwange and Tsholot­sho dis­tricts is meant to en­sure that com­mu­ni­ties de­rive ben­e­fits from the re­source. In Hwange, Sidinda Ward was se­lected for re­stock­ing with dif­fer­ent species that will be man­aged by the com­mu­nity.

Hwange Ru­ral District Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Mr Phindile Ncube said prepa­ra­tions for the cap­ture of an­i­mals were on course with the first con­sign­ment of buf­falo hav­ing been re­lo­cated to the site.

“All is set for the re­stock­ing of the area, the ex­er­cise has com­menced in earnest with the re­lo­ca­tion of 100 buf­faloes hav­ing been com­pleted and these an­i­mals are now in Sidinda. We started off with this big game be­cause their cap­ture re­quires spe­cialised equip­ment. What­ever is re­main­ing Zim­Parks will be ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing out the ex­er­cise. I am op­ti­mistic that by the end of this year all ex­pected species will have been re­lo­cated to this site,” said Ncube.

Some of the an­i­mals ex­pected to be de­liv­ered in the area in­clude ze­bra, gi­raffe, im­palas, sables and bush­bucks among the many graz­ers and browsers. The project which also echoes into the new dis­pen­sa­tion mantra that “Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness” un­der the Com­mand Wildlife tag will see the com­mu­nity re­al­is­ing ben­e­fits through hunt­ing and pho­to­graphic sa­faris.

Ear­lier this year of­fi­cials from Zim­Parks, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and tra­di­tional lead­ers toured two com­pleted base sta­tions which will be used for anti-poach­ing pro­cesses by rangers drawn from the com­mu­nity. Zim­Parks act­ing di­rec­tor re­spon­si­ble for con­ser­va­tion, Mr Arthur Musakwa is on record as say­ing the project would be rolled out in phases with the species mostly made up of plains game.

“We are go­ing to be re­stock­ing Sidinda Ward with non-car­niv­o­rous an­i­mals mostly graz­ers and browsers and this will be done in phases. We re­alised that the only way peo­ple can con­serve wildlife is to en­sure that they get di­rect ben­e­fits from wildlife man­age­ment. The com­mu­nity here must be ap­plauded for hav­ing main­tained their ecosys­tem, which has been very suit­able for turn­ing Sidinda into a sanc­tu­ary,” he said.

Zim­Parks has al­ready trained com­mu­nity game scouts in re­source pro­tec­tion among other things. The an­i­mals will be kept in hold­ing bo­mas over a pe­riod of three weeks be­fore they are re­leased into the wild to al­low them to ac­cli­ma­tise and ad­just to the new en­vi­ron­ment.

Buf­faloes

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