The Zambian government on Tuesday dismissed reports that 80 black lechwes have gone missing from a protected area in the northern part of the country.
Conservationist Nsama Musonda Learns, who works in the northern circuit, raised the alarm that the animals were captured from the Bangweulu Wetlands, their natural habitat at a time when there was a ban on relocation of animals from protected areas to private ranches and appealed to stakeholders to help locate the animals.
She said in a statement that no one had an idea where the animals have been taken, the objective of their capture and whether they survived the transportation and if they have adapted to the new home.
But Ministry of Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga said it was not true that the animals were missing.
He said in a statement that the conservationist who has raised alarm about the capture of the animals should help the police and other investigative wings with facts on what she knows about the animals.
He said the ministry was not aware of any animals having been relocated from the said protected area.
He, however, said the translocation of animals was a normal activity and successful in the quest to restock depleted and under stocked wildlife areas.
Last month, the government was forced to suspend the relocation of animals from a national park in the eastern part of the country after residents staged protests. Enditem