Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit Snares Ivory Dealers and 300 Poachers

VFAPU scouts with some of the wire snares they have removed.

Anti-poaching teams in Victoria Falls have had a bumper year in the field, having captured three prominent ivory dealers and more than 300 poachers in 2015.

The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU), founded by conservationists Charles Brightman and hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism‘s flagship property Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, were responsible for the busts.

The unit, which employs 17 scouts, works closely with National Parks and Wildlife Management and the Zimbabwe Republic Police to conserve Zimbabwe’s valuable wildlife resources.

Photo by Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit

The ivory dealers, all Victoria Falls residents, were caught in January last year with nearly 10kg of elephant tusks during undercover operations, and each was sentenced to nine years in prison.

“VFAPU assists and funds a number of these types of operations each year, said Charles Brightman, VFAPU head of operations. “We helped in several cases where poachers were arrested for possession of cyanide, weapons and tusks.

“Recently a pangolin was rescued from two men attempting to sell it, and VFAPU assisted in this success,” Mr Brightman said.

Of the more than 300 poachers caught by VFAPU last year, 12 were mammal poachers, with the illegal bush meat trade – which results in 3.5 million tons of wildlife being consumed in central and southern Africa each year – an area of great concern, he said.

Four warthogs, three impala, two baboons, a zebra, a buffalo and a kudu were found poached within VFAPU’s operational area, a 50km radius of Victoria Falls.

“In one incident, VFAPU scouts located a poached buffalo which had been butchered in the Chamabonda area and were then able to track the spoor to a house in one of the Victoria Falls suburbs,” he said.

“A trap was set and two men were apprehended with fresh meat from the buffalo. They were recently sentenced to —> Read More