Elephant poisoning causes outrage

Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has invited Aaron Ramsey to visit Zimbabwe in response.

Elephants in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Picture: Alexander Joe/AFP

ZIMBABWE, Harare - Zimbabwe's new Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has taken the unusual step of inviting Aaron Ramsey to Zimbabwe after the Arsenal midfielder tweeted his outrage at the poisoning of elephants in the country's biggest game park.

More than 80 elephants have been killed by poachers who mixed cyanide with salt and spread it near water holes in the Hwange National Park.

Ramsey is a hero to many soccer lovers in Zimbabwe so his comments on Twitter touched a raw nerve.

He said the poisoning of elephants for their ivory in Zimbabwe was absolutely shocking.

Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is one of the few ministers in President Robert Mugabe's new government who is active on social media, retweeted the comment and said he thanked Ramsey for his concern.

He told Ramsey the matter was under control and invited him to visit Zimbabwe.

A visit by the Welsh soccer star would be a huge coup for Zimbabwe in its efforts to rebrand after a decade of crisis, but it's far from guaranteed that Ramsey will take up the offer.