Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. It is around 14,600 sq km in area. It lies in the northwest of the country, just off the main road between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. The nearest town is Dete. Histories of the region's pre-colonial days and its development as a game reserve and National Park are available online

Hwange National Park was founded in 1928.[1] It is considered for inclusion in the five-nation Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.[2]

Poaching incidents

In 2011, nine elephants, five lions and two buffaloes were killed by poachers.[citation needed]

In October 2013 it was discovered that poachers killed a large number of African elephants with cyanide after poisoning their waterhole. Conservationists have claimed the incident to be the largest illegal killing of animals in Southern Africa in 25 years.[3][4][5][6] Two aerial surveys were carried to determine the extent of the deaths, and 19 carcasses were identified in the first survey[7] and a further 84 carcasses in the second survey.[8][9] Three of the poachers were caught, arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced. All royal game and elephant poaching offences now have a mandatory 9-year sentence and the supply chain is also targeted.

Cecil and Xanda hunting incidents

On or about 1 July 2015, Cecil, a lion who had lived on Hwange National Park for 13 years, was killed.[10] This action spurred widespread social media coverage[11] and a petition calling for Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe to outlaw big game hunting permits.[12] Walter Palmer, the admitted killer of Cecil, had a permit and was not charged with any crime, as all his papers were in order.[13] Authorities in Zimbabwe have said he is free to visit the country. Charges were initially laid against Theo Bronkhorst, Palmer's guide, for "failing to stop an illegal hunt" but these were later thrown out of court.[14]

Two years after Cecil's killing, his son Xanda met a similar fate. Unlike that of his father, Xanda's killing was not termed illegal, though it did provoke outrage.[15][16][17]

^ Cite error: The named reference child was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "Hwange National Park". Venture To Zimbabwe. Retrieved 22 June 2022. ^ "Zimbabwe elephants poisoned by poachers in Hwange". BBC News. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. ^ Death by cyanide: poachers kill 40 elephants in Zimbabwe as China drives ivory demand ^ "Poachers kill 300 Zimbabwe elephants with cyanide". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^ "Zimbabwe elephants poisoned by cyanide". BBC News. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. ^ Colin Gillies (November 2013). Report on Hwange Elephant Poisoning (Report). Matabeleland Branch, Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe. ^ Colin Gillies (November 2013). 2nd Report Hwange Elephant Poisoning (Report). Matabeleland Branch, Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe. ^ Zimbabwe elephants poisoned by poachers in Hwange[1] ^ "Zimbabwe hunter loses bid to have Cecil case dropped". Yahoo! News. 20 October 2015. ^ "Cecil the Lion's Death Prompts Social Media Outcry - US News". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 30 July 2015. ^ "How the internet descended on the man who killed Cecil the lion - BBC News". BBC Online. Retrieved 30 July 2015. ^ "Zimbabwe will not charge U.S. Dentist for killing Cecil the lion". 12 October 2015. ^ Bale, Rachael (11 November 2016). "Cecil the Lion: Charges Dropped Against Professional Hunter". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2017. ^ "Xanda, son of Cecil the lion, killed by hunter in Zimbabwe". BBC News. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017. ^ Bever, L.; Brulliard, K. (20 July 2017). "Cecil the lion's son has 'met the same fate' — killed in a trophy hunt in Zimbabwe, reports say". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 July 2017. ^ Damian Carrington (20 July 2017). "Son of Cecil the lion killed by trophy hunter". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
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