Poachers kill 19 rhinos

The authority’s public relations manager, Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo, said the rhinos were both black and white adding  that this year four white rhinos with a combined value of $480 000 were poached at Thertford Estate in Mazowe on New Year’s Day.

“In 2012 the country lost 19, both black and white rhinos, to poachers,” said Ms Washaya-Moyo in a statement yesterday.

“Four white rhinos were on New Year’s Day poached at Thertford Estate in  Mazowe. The animals comprised two adult males, one adult female and one sub-adult male and are valued at $480 000.”

Ms Washaya-Moyo said that eight rhino horns, which had been removed from the carcasses and 18 spent cartridges fired from a suspected 308 hunting rifle or an FN automatic rifle, were recovered by parks rangers.

“The poachers escaped and efforts are under way to bring them to book,” she said.

Poachers killed at least 23 rhinos in Zimbabwe’s nature reserves in 2011, principally for their horn, which is believed to have magical, cancer-curing properties in some Eastern countries.

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