Friday, 18 April 2014

Zimbabwe’s presidential elephants under threat

April 2014: The fallout over a land claim in the Hwange National Park has seen one of the country’s top elephant protectors stepping aside and shutting down a key elephant conservation project.

The Zimbabwe ‘Presidential Elephant Conservation Project’ was founded and has been run by Australian Sharon Pincott since 2001, with the aim of monitoring and protecting the Presidential Elephant Herd. This unique herd of wild elephants are protected by a Presidential decree that took place in 1990 when President Robert Mugabe ruled that the 400 plus elephants that roam the unfenced land outside the reserve should never be culled or hunted. In 2011, Pincott successfully lobbied Robert Mugabe to re-pledge his support for the elephant herd. This was in the face of land invasions, poaching and other threats to Zimbabwe’s elephant population.

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