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Zimbabwe poachers poison watering holes

Sept. 21, 2011 at 9:19 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Poachers seeking elephants' ivory tusks have poisoned watering holes in Zimbabwe, killing nine elephants and five lions, an official said.

ZimEye.org reported a spokesperson for Zimbabwe's wildlife department said the elephants' tusks were removed but lions' heads and skins remained intact.

The lions appear to be accidental victims.

Tests are under way to determine what chemicals are being used to kill wildlife.

A source expressed frustration authorities haven't done enough to stop the poaching.

"The wildlife that has managed to survive is being taken out. Again the authorities are powerless," the source told ZimEye.org.

The poaching jeopardizes tourism, Zimbabwe Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said.

"My mandate is to market wildlife ... . but I can't market a threatened product so I have a direct interest in this matter," Mzembi said.

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