Dought-hit Zimbabwe readies mass wildlife migration

Harare – Zimbabwe is planning an enforced mass migration of wildlife away from a park in the country’s south, where thousands of animals are at risk of death due to drought-induced starvation.

At least 200 elephants have already died at two other parks due to lack of food and water, along with scores of buffalo and antelope, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) said on Monday.

“They will continue (to die) until the rains come. The biggest threat to our animals right now is loss of habitat,” Zimparks spokesman Tinashe Farawo told Reuters.

The El Nino-induced drought has also taken its toll on crops, leaving more than half of the population in need of food aid.

Farawo said Zimparks and private partners planned to move 600 elephants – as well as giraffe, lions, buffalo, antelope and spotted wild dogs – from Save Valley Conservancy in southern Zimbabwe to three other national parks.

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