I have a small website for x-pats and zimbos. One of the members who passed on from cancer not long ago put up a series of articles on animals and nature and l thought l would put some of them up here.
The author, Tony Seward, stated in a conversation we had some time ago he did not mind my using the articles to get the stories out to people or they would be lost.
Tony served in the BSAP (British South Africa Police) in what was Rhodesia.
The snaring of Giraffe - Nuanetsi 1970
by Anthony Seward (C)
One of the most serious cases of snaring dealt with by me was whilst stationed at Nuanetsi.
Following a reported snaring of a Giraffe along the North bank of the Nuanetsi River some distance from the station I led an investigation team to the scene.
It was a pathetic and sad sight when we found a fully-grown male Giraffe hanging in a snare from a tall Mopani tree.
Scouts were sent off in various directions and within a couple of hours had found a further seven Giraffe which had met a similar fate at the hands of this ruthless poacher.
Determined to catch the criminal we re-enforced our team and ambushed two of the carcasses.
The following morning my constables arrested two accused who had approached the carcass of one of the Giraffe with a bevy of females carrying several sacks. They also carried a variety of knives and it was obvious that they were the accused and were about to cut the carcass up and carry away the meat.
We arrested the whole group and the accused were charged with eight counts of poaching with snares and received heavy prison sentences from Magistrate Rod Woodrow who had come up from Beit Bridge to take these and other cases.
It was the worst case of snaring I had encountered during my twenty five years service in he police.
We estimated that given the size of the Giraffe it would have been impossible for the group to have cut up more than one of the poor animals. The rest would have been left to rot where they hung.
Such is the poaching in Africa and I wonder what the situation is now a days with starvation facing the populations surrounding the ranches, farms and game areas of the country.