Zambia bans hunting of rare antelope

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The Zambian government has issued a temporary ban on the hunting of the Lechwe, an antelope species only found in the southern African nation to protect it from becoming extinct, state media reported on Thursday.

The antelope is only found in the Lochinvar National Park, which lies south-west of Lusaka, the country’s capital on the sprawling floodplains of the Kafue River.

Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale said the population of the antelope had dropped from a high of 250,000 in the 1930s to about 28,000.

He said the antelope was only found in Zambia and nowhere else in the world hence the need to protect it from being hunted to extinction by both safari hunters and poachers.

“I would like to institute a temporary ban on the hunting of the Lechwe on the Kafue flats,” he is quoted as saying by the Times of Zambia during an anti-poaching sensitization campaign in Monze district in the southern part of the country.

According to him, other animal species such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and buffaloes had long disappeared from the national park due to rampant poaching, adding that the rate of game poaching in the national park was worrying.

He urged members of the public to work with the government to curb rampant poaching in the park.

Andrew Chomba, assistant director at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife said during the same meeting that about 1,000 antelopes were being killed annually in the national park. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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