Wilderness Safaris Supports Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit in Hwange

Despite COVID-19 bringing global travel to a standstill, Wilderness Safaris has reaffirmed its dedication to conserving and restoring Africa’s wilderness by continuing to support vital conservation projects in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. This included a recent donation from Wilderness Safaris’ Sustainability Fund to support the operating costs of the Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit (SAPU) until end December 2020. This will ensure that the team, which includes Hwange National Park rangers, is able to maintain its crucial year-round presence within the park, which is vital in the fight against poaching.

The SAPU provides essential wildlife protection in the south-eastern section of Hwange. Daily patrols are conducted along the boundaries where subsistence poaching, as well as poaching for game meat, can be quite common. Now, at a time, when many people have lost their incomes as a result of COVID-19, the poaching risk has increased too.

Wilderness Safaris has been directly supporting SAPU since 2012, taking over all its operations in 2015. To date in 2020, the team has already covered 1 819 km on foot, while 96 vehicle patrols covered more than 2 662 km. A total of 151 snares were removed, and one arrest of a leopard poacher was made mid-year. Since its inception, SAPU has removed 2 546 snares during 1 690 patrols. The information is logged with the assistance of Wilderness Safaris partners, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and Panthera, who use the data to detect poaching patterns and trends.

To watch a short video showcasing a day in a life of a SAPU ranger, click here.