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Man Jailed Nine Years For Killing Black Rhino Valued At US$120 000

1 month agoThu, 28 Mar 2024 06:12:32 GMT
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Man Jailed Nine Years For Killing Black Rhino Valued At US$120 000

Greaters Nyoni, a resident of Bulawayo, has been convicted by a Beitbridge Magistrate for the unlawful hunting and killing of a black rhinoceros, a specially protected animal.

The incident occurred on July 14, 2022, at Bubye Valley Conservancy.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPAZ) stated that Nyoni, along with Prince Mudenda, James Tapoka, Spencer Mharadza (who have already been sentenced to 9 years imprisonment), and President Oswell Musekiwa (still at large), hunted and killed the black rhinoceros using a .375 rifle belonging to Nyoni. They then dehorned the animal with an axe and reportedly sold the horns in Harare.

Game scouts discovered the crime scene and recovered an empty cartridge from the .375 rifle. A police report was filed, leading to the arrest of Prince Mudenda on March 26, 2023. Mudenda implicated Nyoni in the crime, who was subsequently apprehended.

The black rhinoceros is valued at USD 120,000, and no recoveries have been made.

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Black rhinos are critically endangered, with populations having declined by more than 97% since the 1960s due to poaching and habitat loss.

Poaching remains the biggest threat to black rhinos, as their horns are highly valued on the black market for their supposed medicinal properties and as a status symbol.

Each kilogram of rhino horn can fetch as much as US$ 100,000, ultimately reaching up to $300,000 per horn.

Currently, there are just over 6,000 black rhinos left in the world.

In an unrelated incident, Lameck Shumba, a 53-year-old man from Beitbridge, has been brought before the Beitbridge MagistratesÔÇÖ Court on charges of unlawful possession of two rhino horns.

The NPA said on March 21, 2024, the police received a tip-off that Shumba, along with his accomplices Prosper Zengeya and Abelina Nangai (who are still at large), were in possession of black rhinoceros horns. They were actively seeking buyers, preferably from South Africa.

Acting on the tip-off, the police posed as potential buyers and arranged a meeting with the accused persons at the Pagomba Sports Bar in Beitbridge.

During the meeting, Shumba arrived with Prosper Zengeya, carrying a blue plastic bag containing the rhino horns. Meanwhile, Abelina Nangai remained in ShumbaÔÇÖs motor vehicle.

The police signalled for backup, and upon their arrival, they managed to arrest Shumba. However, his two accomplices evaded arrest and abandoned their motor vehicle.

The confiscated rhino horns weighed 0.574 kg and 0.212 kg respectively.

Shumba has been remanded in custody until April 16, 2024, when his trial is scheduled to begin.

More: Pindula News

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