At least two suspected poachers were shot dead in a shootout encounter with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers in Rifa.

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development.

“It is with great sadness that 2 suspected poachers were shot dead after an armed contact with
ZimParks rangers in Rifa,” he said.

He added that a rifle and freshly poached ivory were recovered.

Meanwhile, poaching is rampant in the country, and the impact of the pandemic has increased wildlife poaching around Zimbabwe’s national parks, as people who lost their jobs hunt the animals for food.

To help protect the animals, anti-poaching organizations have been formed, including a squad of vegan, women rangers.

Poaching is a threat to the country’s tourism sector.

Recently, some hotel operators in northern Zimbabwe said business is being crippled by rampant poaching in the Zambezi valley and surrounding areas.