The chairperson of the Hwange-Gwayi Conservation and Tourism Association, Langton Masunda, told Radio VOP, that carcase of a female rhino and a calf were found dehorned in the conservancy on Saturday.
“We have got information that two rhinos were killed in the conservancy .We have never lost any Rhino in the conservancy since we were allocated land in the conservancy in 2002. This is the first time that this has happened,” said Masunda.
Chinese mining firms have sprouted in the conservancy where they are mining coal and prospecting for other minerals.
“As Gwayi Conservancy association, we are worried by this development. We are particularly worried by the fact that the killing of the two animals have came at a time when we have Chinese firms setting up mines in the wildlife areas under unclear circumstances,” he said.
Conservationists in the country have blamed the influx of Chinese nationals for the upsurge in poaching syndicates running the illegal rhino horn trade.
It is estimated that the country has 700 rhinos and the numbers are dwindling due to the long held belief that the rhino horn has medicinal properties.
The mining activities by the Chinese are also polluting rivers and threatening to extinguish wild animals in the area. A spokesperson for the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, Caroline Washaya Moyo, refused to comment on the issue in a telephone interview, insisting that she preferred questions e-mailed to her. However, questions submitted had not been responded to by end of day Wednesday.