There are two main types of poaching taking place in the national park:
Subsistence poaching: People from nearby villages set "snares" to trap animals for food. When found, these snares are removed.
Illegal Animal Trade poaching: People enter the park to kill animals and sell their body parts on the black market (e.g. elephant tusks). These people are often armed with assault rifles and fire at the Anti-Poaching Unit, making these confrontations very dangerous.
While some East African national parks receive government funding and/or military manpower to prevent poaching, Hwange National Park does not. The Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit at Hwange relies on donations and supplies from non-profit organizations in order to maintain their presence.
This Unit is composed of seven men who have dedicated their time and energy to protecting the wild animals living in Hwange. Their accommodations are humble, their boots are worn through, but their passion is palpable.
We asked them how we can help to ensure that they can do their jobs most effectively. They asked us for two things:
1. To go home and tell their story, to educate people about what is going on in the area.
2. For waterproof supplies to replace old items: tents, backpacks, and boots for their park patrols.
We estimate that high quality items for a team of seven men will cost about $7,500 (tents $900, boots $150/pair, and backpacks $65). Please consider donating to help us purchase this essential equipment for the unit, and to help prevent another tragedy like the illegal killing of Cecil.
Photos from our trip to Hwange National Park
Photo taken at the Anti-Poaching Unit camp. The tall piles of wire are hundreds of snares that have been found and removed from the park.
- Francis Rath
- Dacia Jackovich
- Gwen Sharp
- Daniel Robinson
- Cheri Canfield
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