Zimbabwe’s elephant population has decreased by more than 40 percent in the Zambezi Valley in over the past 13 years due to the rising scourge in poaching, state newspaper the Herald reported Tuesday, citing the results of a latest survey.
The survey, conducted by the Great Elephant Census and the official Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, shows that in the Zambezi valley, the elephant population has dropped from 19,000 in 2001 to 13,000 in 2014.
Most alarmingly, elephant population decreased by about 75 percent in the combined Matusadona and Chizarira areas in the Zambezi valley.
Zimbabwe is home to one of Africa’s biggest surviving elephant populations after herds in neighboring regions of eastern and central Africa were decimated by poaching.
t is estimated that there are more than 80,000 elephants living in Zimbabwe’s national parks.
In 2013, poachers turned to a ruthless method of killing elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve by poisoning waterholes and saltpans with cyanide.
Over 100 elephants were killed, according to government officials.