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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18 thoughts on “Poaching on an alarming rate in Malawi parks: Elephants killed for ivory trade”

  1. titani says:

    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

  2. phodogoma says:

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

  3. Zachisoni Phiri says:

    Tiyeni nazoni zikatha tigawane parkyo

  4. inayake says:

    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.

  5. Anonabani says:

    Umphawi ndiye wakula. Create more job opportunities.

  6. commando Chinois says:

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

  7. Patriot says:

    Ma China awa friends of DPP.

  8. Mpoto says:

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

  9. Nkhombokombo says:

    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.

  10. Taelos says:

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

  11. JK says:

    Please use soldies. a Army athandize ndi ma helicopter. i know it is bit expensive koma zikhiza kuteteza nyama for tourism. Countries like RSA an Botswana are using soildies

  12. Yetson Nkhoma says:

    Poverty is the root cause of this, eish my Malawi.

  13. Mxii says:

    Mmati mudzilemela nokha. Kupusa,enanso akufuna ndalama

  14. mchona says:

    It is the Chinese who r engaged in this malpractice, I was shocked to see that there r many Chinese in Kasungu who have invaded the district by opening shops in the villages when in actual fact the shops r just a front for their ivory smuggling business. The Chinese r also in all the areas where there r precious stones mining activities, in fact they r all over! Can the government do something?

  15. Nzika says:

    A afraid I always see the park rangers themselves in this malpractice.How can a park ranger leave his house and spend 16 nights every month in the cold mosquito infested bush for a meagre K9000 a month which sometimes even accumulates to over a year in arrears? Given the economics hardships that we are going through as a country, almost anyone would join the rangers in aiding this evil act…It’s a deal gone sour i believe.Possibly the gangs did not count in all the rangers leaving some ‘frustrated’ rangers with no choice but to feign passion for their job..Government must wake up and realise that not every Malawian obeys and is driven by the Ten Commandments,particularly one “thou shalt not steal”. These people work out of passion and this passion can easily get eroded when there are other lucrative passions beckoning at no cost but for a hefty pay…K9000 per month VS K30,000 per cm?? Malawi

  16. o says:

    elrphant population in Kasungu National park is now less than 150 not 1000 as hereby reported.

  17. So pathetic indeed. But why all this is happening? Poverty .

  18. alukosyo says:

    Akagwidwa aphedwe

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