Zimbabwe has banned mining in countriy’s national parks, reversing a decision to let Chinese firms explore for coal at its famous Hwange game park.
The move came after campaigners took the government to court to prevent “ecological degradation” in parks.
Two firms had been given a licence to explore for coal in Hwange, Zimbabwe’s biggest national park.
In court papers filed on September 7, the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (ZELA) warned that the park would degrade into a “site for drilling, land clearance, road building and geological surveys” if coal exploration went ahead.
Following a cabinet meeting on September 8, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the ban on mining with immediate effect in all national game reserves.
“Steps are being undertaken to immediately cancel all mining titles held in national parks,” the Minister said.
Ms Mutsvangwa also adjusted a ban on mining along most river beds, in a decision that would affect small-scale Chinese and local gold miners.
China is a major investor in Zimbabwe and a close ally of the government. The critical areas in China-Zimbabwe cooperation is in electricity and power generation, the key to the landlocked country development.
Over recent years, Chinese investments have funded infrastructure projects in the Zimbabwe and southern Africa in sectors including transportation, energy, telecommunications and manufacturing.
A severe drought is threatening South Africa’s wildlife with game farmers keeping fewer animals and tourists visiting game lodges in smaller numbers, subsequently hitting he entire wildlife industry.
“It’s been an extraordinary drought,” said WRSA chief Adri Kitshoff-Botha. “It’s not a one-year or two-year drought. In some areas we’ve seen it has been going now for six years.”
The wildlife industry generates revenue for South Africa through tourism, hunting, breeding and meat production. Trophy hunting alone generated 2 billion rand ($140 million) in 2016, according to research carried out for the environment ministry.
Southern Africa’s temperatures are rising at twice the global average rate, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, and in much of South Africa the level of water in reservoirs is reducing.
Tourists were startled when a lion attacked an antelope kudu in the middle of the road in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
According to animal behaviorists, predators have been adapting to co-habitation with tourists, making best out of in, namely using cars as a cover for hunting of antelopes.
This is an advanced type of hunting, when for a few kilometers lions accompany convoys of vehicles with visitors, carefully observing the sides of the road. Due to noise of engines and smell of gases, antelopes do not feel the predators that hide among cars.
Visitors of the Kruger Park recorded such “car cover” hunting before, however this one was exceptionally spectacular due to size of the antelope, and pertinence of the lion.
Lions are the only social feline, who practice next to regular hunting a complex ambush hunting in a team, distributing tasks. Lions do a whole lot of more feline interactions in their lives than the loner tigers, and other big cats. They also practice school of hunting for young lions, teaching them skills and tricks.
The scientists claim that the part of the lion’s brain for memory is the most developed among felines and intelligence is related to memory.
The result of the 2016 animal intelligence test confirmed the greatest abilities of social animals to resolve problems. In this test social animals came first The hyena came as a champion on the top of the list, then the lion, the leopard followed, and the loner tiger with the biggest brain volume came the last.
A corpse of the guide for two French tourists who went missing on safari in Pendjari parc in Benin last week has been found in a burnt car, a local official and a regional security source said.
The fate of two French tourists, who failed to return to the lodge in the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin, is unknown, the sources said.
French mass media reported that they were believed to be kidnapped, citing unnamed regional sources.
France’s foreign affairs ministry could not confirm the information so far, though it has acknowledged that two nationals and their guide had been missing since May, 1. However they underlined they have advised against travelling to the area.
The relevant authorities in Benin and neighbouring Burkina Faso, where the sources say the car was found, declined to comment.
In March 2009 the park was nominated as a tentative site for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site program, and in July 2017 it was officially inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a transnational extension of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex. Stretching across three countries, W-Arly-Pendjari Complex is the largest and most important continuum of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic ecosystems in the West African savanna belt.
An American citizen who was kidnapped with her driver at Uganda’s most popular wildlife park by gunmen had failed to take an armed ranger as required by the park’s regulations, a spokesperson for the wildlife authority said.
Four armed men in Uganda‘s Queen Elizabeth National Park. according to CNN have used the victim’s phone to demand $500,000 ransom.
“We strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap,” a police officer said to CNN TV channel. They were ambushed and kidnapped near Katoke Gate between 5 pm and 7 pm on April, 2. “Other four tourists who were left abandoned and unharmed later contacted the base (lodge) and were quickly got safely out of any danger,” a press release said.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is Uganda’s most visited wildlife attraction.
Kimberley Sue Endecott (35), and Ugandan driver Jean Paul were on a game drive in the Park when four gunmen ambushed their vehicle in evening hours, police said. However, an elderly couple also at the scene were not taken and raised the alarm.
Militant groups as Somali Islamists or Congolese-based rebels operate in Uganda, but none of the group claimed responsibility for the armed incident. At present the regular crime is regarded as a privileged version of the assault.
There is ongoing police operation, however for the evident reasons, the details are not revealed.