Poaching on an alarming rate in Malawi parks: Elephants killed for ivory trade

Hardcore poachers have set ablaze a national park patrol vehicle in a fierce battle that ensued between the game rangers and themselves, in the Kasungu National Park, government has confirmed.

Impounded ivory in Malawi

Impounded ivory in Malawi

Kasungu National Park officer, MacNoliti Lilambwe told LINA recently in an interview that the alleged “notorious” poachers a Mr. Nkhata of Mzyola village and a Mr. Asafu, of Chimbiya village, both from the same Traditional Authority Lukwa in Kasungu district, who are still large are the ones behind “this unkempt” behavior.

Lilambwe further said the park’s 20 kilometer electric security fence that boarders Traditional Authority Chulu’s campus had long been damaged by the community thereby providing easy entry and exist of the park by poachers and animals respectively.

Said Lilambwe: “Upon noticing our presence in the bush, they aggressively  opened fire on us, and we retaliated. We exchanged fire for sometime before the poachers disappeared. Unfortunately we did not manage to apprehend them adding nobody died in the fracas although the poachers vividly sustained minor injuries in the process.”

Lilambwe said his office in collaboration with the law –enforcers, has meanwhile embarked on an intensive search aimed at bringing the “dangerous” criminals to book.

He disclosed that poaching in the Park has reached at an alarming rate, as last year alone the poachers killed over 40 elephants, by using among other means poisoning the animals.

“Last year these poachers killed over 40 elephants by poisoning them. What normally happens is that they put poisonous powder substance inside the pumpkins, so that the animal dies quickly once it eats it,” lamented Lilambwe, adding that: “Due to such malpractices elephants’ population in Kasungu National Park has so far dwindled to less that 1000 only.” A development he described as worrisome.

A source from Ministry of Information and Tourism who opted for anonymity told LINA that poachers are encouraged by seemingly lucrative ivory prices both local and internationally hence the massive killing of elephants.

“For instance they sell a single ivory at MK30, 000 per 30 centimeters. So you can see it’s a very viable business,” said the source.

The source further disclosed that people around the park were given some solar panels and big TV screens so that the community is engaged in various small scale businesses as one way of keeping them busy in order to reduce poaching in the national park. Unfortunately the project is yielding little results.

Tourism, if handled properly, could be Malawi’s number one forex earner, replacing the green gold-tobacco currently facing a heavy blow of ant-smoking campaign globally. –Lina   

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titani
Guest

The rules; shoot if ur lyf z in danger,when ur buddy z also in need danger and when the enermy z at immediate vicnity. It reminds me of those old gd at Chinguni with instructors in names of Khalika,Chiwindo,Bwana Thamala, my namesake Brave Madise and the late Nganga Ntocha-RIP. Guys thumbs up,the barrel z 2 spk

phodogoma
Guest

Change the laws,give the stiffer punishment believe me this will stop,where is the minister of tourism?zzzzzzzzzzz!!!

Zachisoni Phiri
Guest

Tiyeni nazoni zikatha tigawane parkyo

inayake
Guest

They is a lodge on the outskirts of KK by the Tongole. That lodge harbours poachers. They they chased an honorable MP from the because he was not booked at the lodge. I feel the major problem we have is that we as Malawians do not take pride promoting Malawinism. Lets us learn to love and protect land from foreign influences. We are not Americans, nor South africans but Malawians. Be proud of that.

Anonabani
Guest

Umphawi ndiye wakula. Create more job opportunities.

commando Chinois
Guest

Poor marksmanship among rangers….I would have been happy to hear that poachers died in the firefight after sustaining multiple bullet wounds!!!!!!!

Patriot
Guest

Ma China awa friends of DPP.

Mpoto
Guest

its pathetic indeed thats a game they have resolved on killing the poachers here in rumphi.

Nkhombokombo
Guest

This happening because of poverty and greedness. People, lets love our country and our animals. Some of us at our old age have never seen or encountered with one elephant.

Taelos
Guest

Better if this story is not fablicated am surprised that no poacher arrested but how did they know they sustained injuries

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