Campaigners bid to protect Zim elephants

The petition has so far gathered close to 4,000 signatures online.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told The Chronical that the issue is political and needs to go before the Zanu-PF politburo. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

ZIMBABWE, Harare - Campaigners have launched an online petition to highlight what they see as possible threats to Zimbabwe's famed Presidential Elephant herd.

The petition has so far gathered close to 4,000 signatures, but a cabinet minister in Zimbabwe says he hasn't seen the petition, and the campaigners should approach him directly.

The 500-strong herd was awarded a presidential decree by Robert Mugabe, meaning they should enjoy total protection from sport hunting.

But conservationists say the elephants are in danger after a land claimant illegally took over a key part of their range in Hwange Estate in the rest of the country.

An online petition written to Zimbabwe's Lands and Tourism ministers has so far got over 3,400 signatures, but Lands Minister Douglas Mombeshora in an interview with state media says he hasn't seen the petition as he never goes on the internet and the petitioners should approach him in person.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told The Chronical that the issue is political and needs to go before the Zanu-PF politburo.

Last year poachers used cyanide to kill over 300 elephants in the Hwange National Park.