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Zimbabwe poachers poison elephants

September 24, 2013, 18:24 UTC+3
Criminals used calcium cyanide traditionally used in gold prospecting
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/LISI NIESNER

Photo EPA/LISI NIESNER

PRETORIA, September 24 (Itar-Tass) - Poachers have eradicated more than 80 elephants in the past month, Zimbabwe Minister of Tourism Walter Mzenbi said on Tuesday after a visit to Hwange - the biggest national park in Zimbabwe.

According to a preliminary inquest, the criminals used calcium cyanide, traditionally used in gold prospecting, to poison the animals. The poison was administered to local water sources where gentle giants of the African savanna usually come for water.

The elephant population sharply declined in Africa in the past decade because of increasing poaching activity on the continent. The soaring prices of elephant tusk on the world market and in Asia in particular, have provoked the poachers into a more active onslaught onto the animals. In Asia, the elephant tusk is used for making music instruments and in souvenir business.

In 2011 alone the poachers liquidated more than 25,000 elephants in Africa, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

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