We have great news from the field!
Throughout the third week of April 2018, a news team from the BBC joined IAPF’s Akashinga rangers on a variety of anti-poaching operations in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley. BBC documented our Akashinga program in action, the positive interactions with local communities, and the training and development of this all-female team. During the BBC’s time with us, four raids were conducted by our rangers and the Zimbabwean authorities — and four arrests were made.
Our rangers acted on outstanding warrants for a known bush-meat poaching syndicate—and one of the men arrested was also wanted for elephant poaching. An excellent outcome: We’re happy to tell you that all four poachers have already been sentenced to eighteen or more months in prison. These women don’t enjoy making arrests in their own communities, but if they don’t prevent the killing of wildlife, there will simply be nothing left. Lower level arrests such as these provide critical information about more senior poaching figures within organised crime syndicates.
Several other Akashinga arrests have targeted people dealing in or using cyanide – a toxic poison used to kill hundreds of elephants in Zimbabwe in recent years. The effective actions of these remarkable women are saving countless wild animals!