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FW: Mugabe orders cull of elephants to feed starving villagers

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  • Cynthia Hendrick
    ... From: jim robertson Date: Sun, 01 May 2005 07:31:08 +0000 ... I have created two animal rights groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EqualRights4Animals
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2005
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: jim robertson
      Date: Sun, 01 May 2005 07:31:08 +0000

      > *Mugabe orders cull of elephants to feed starving villagers*
      > By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg
      >
      > 28 April 2005
      >
      > Fresh from his disputed victory in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections,
      > President Robert Mugabe has turned his sights on the country's wildlife
      > reserves in a bid to feed thousands of malnourished villagers.
      >
      > Zimbabwe's national parks have been ordered to work with rural district
      > councils to begin the wholesale slaughter of big game. National park
      > rangers said they had already shot 10 elephants in the past week. The
      > meat was barbecued at festivities to mark 25 years of independence.
      > Four of the animals were reportedly shot in view of tourists near Lake
      > Kariba, the largest man-made lake in Africa and a major wildlife haven.
      >
      > Five years after ordering white-owned farms to be confiscated, the
      > Mugabe regime has turned a country once known as the breadbasket of
      > Africa into a famished land. An estimated 4 million rural poor suffer
      > from food shortages.
      >
      > The wildlife directive is a major blow to efforts by conservationists
      > to rehabilitate a wildlife sector devastated by Mr Mugabe's
      > confiscation policy. The chaotic farm invasions saw party militants
      > storming into conservation areas - private and state-owned - to
      > slaughter animals. Unscrupulous South African hunters also joined in
      > the looting, paying hefty kickbacks to politicians to go into
      > conservation areas and shoot lions, leopards and cheetahs for trophies.
      >
      > There had been high hopes among conservationists that Zimbabwe's
      > wildlife sector could be restored to its former glory. Certain species
      > of wildlife in southern Zimbabwe are still abundant, and a
      > trans-frontier park, allowing animals from Mozambique and the Kruger
      > Park in South Africa to move freely in and out of Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou
      > National Park (home of the slaughtered elephants), had been set up.
      >
      > Those conservationists have criticised the new measures and have been
      > scathing about the killings of the elephants for the independence
      > celebrations. A giraffe was also killed to feed peasants in the Binga
      > area during the festivities, but the meat disappeared. It is believed
      > that police and army officials appropriated the meat for themselves and
      > it never reached the intended beneficiaries.
      >
      > Farmers have relied on their own livestock in the past three years of
      > famine, induced by the land seizures. Their plight has worsened since
      > the government stopped international donors from distributing food aid
      > in a move by Mr Mugabe to take charge of the process himself and punish
      > those who did not support him.
      >
      > Parks officials say many of the peasants living close to the reserves
      > have already been venturing inside to hunt and kill animals with
      > snares. But they said the impact of snare hunting by the villagers was
      > limited compared to what would happen if armed national park rangers
      > were allowed to enter conservation areas to secure meat to feed
      > millions of hungry farmers.
      >
      > "Killing of animals for any reasons other than conservation can be very
      > disastrous," said a parks official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
      > "The politicians think we have enough animals to feed people without
      > wiping out different species. We as professionals don't think so. We
      > are talking to them [the politicians] and we hope we will reach
      > consensus on protecting our wildlife heritage."
      >
      > Other government officials said that Mr Mugabe was so happy about his
      > rural constituency - which ensured he achieved a majority of seats in
      > last month's parliamentary elections - that he wanted to do everything
      > to please the voters. His party lost nearly all seats in urban areas,
      > traditional strongholds of the opposition, and won in rural areas where
      > it had created more constituencies. Mr Mugabe has also created a new
      > ministry to look after the rural electorate.
      >
      > Food ran out in Zimbabwe soon after the election and the country has
      > experienced acute power and fuel shortages over the past two weeks.
      > Basic commodities have disappeared from shops. Mr Mugabe has said he
      > will jail manufacturers whom he accuses of creating shortages to
      > encourage people to revolt.
      >
      > Source:
      > http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/story.jsp?story=633666
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      I have created two animal rights groups:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EqualRights4Animals
      http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/EqualRights4Animals
      -------------------------------------------------------
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