When it comes to wildlife conservation, poaching is a critical issue that needs to be tackled head-on. As a responsible eco-lodge with a prime focus on sustainability and conservation, Elephant’s Eye, Hwange is committed to protecting the wildlife in and around our lodge. We have been collaborating with the Conservation and Wildlife Fund (CWF), of which Hideaways is a founding member, on this very issue and are excited to announce that Elephant’s Eye will be allocated its very own anti-poaching unit (APU)! The APU is made up of members of the community who have been trained by the CWF with the latest in anti-poaching methods, ensuring that our wildlife will be around for future generations.
An anti-poaching unit does important groundwork in preventing and minimizing the impact of poachers. Surveillance is of the most important tasks and this requires a team of competent men or women who have their eyes in as many places as possible. An APU will patrol our concession looking for signs of poachers and doing their best to restrict their movements. If poachers are aware that an APU is active in a specific area they will most likely avoid that area, for this reason, the more APUs the better. APUs also do the very important work of removing snares that are set up to trap animals and investigating any suspicious activity found in the bush. For instance, recently some members of an APU found pumpkins in area nowhere near where they would be expected to find them. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the pumpkins were laced with cyanide and were left for elephants to consume. Cyanide poisoning is a dangerous problem because not only does it poison the elephants that eat the pumpkins but also that vultures and hyenas that prey on their carcass that is left behind after the poachers have removed their tusks. Luckily due to this discovery, the APU was able to spare the lives of many animals.
Poaching remains one of the biggest threats to Africa’s wildlife and it is one that we take very seriously. However, far from being helpless and complacent, we are dedicated to doing everything we can to protect the beautiful and fascinating creatures that were here long before us and who make Africa the alluring and life-changing destination that it is.