A poisoning incident caused by poachers has left scores of animals dead, including an elephant and two lions, in the Kruger National Park.
The incident was outlined by SANParks on Wednesday.
“Kruger National Park (KNP) discovered an elephant carcass, 110 dead white back vultures, two male lions and two black back jackals killed by wildlife poisoning on Saturday, 27 February 2016,” SANParks said in a statement.
The elephant had been shot in the head and laced with poison. Its tusks had been removed by poachers.
The carcass was fed on by scavengers nearby, resulting in the deaths of the lions, jackals and vultures.
“It seems poachers have resorted to wildlife poisoning in the National Parks and other protected areas in Southern Africa and we are devastated by these latest mortalities of our wildlife,” Managing Executive of KNP, Glenn Phillips, said.
“Wildlife poisoning is not only a threat to our biodiversity assets, but a single incident can affect hundreds of species; thus cutting their life short and diminishing their ecological role.”
Phillips said that the incident could have been worse had the situation been detected later.
“Although poisoning has occurred at a low level in the country in recent history, it is a real problem in our neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe,” Phillips said.
The park is working with government and neighbouring countries to prevent wildlife poaching and poisoning.[Source: iAfrica]