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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Des Fourie

My dearest, loving father Des Fourie was brutally murdered whilst he was

having his afternoon nap on Thursday 13 August in Greystone Park!


We presume this happened at about 1pm when he usually goes for an hours

sleep! He was brutally beaten over his head as well as broken ribs! The

saddest part is that nothing was stolen although they had emptied out all

the cupboards! They left the money, jewelry... Absolutely nothing was taken!

This is all a mystery and shock to us as we do not know if there was a

personal grudge maybe from the domestics or if there was something they were

specifically looking for!


We would like to thank Zimbabwe's homicide team, Zimbabwe's forensics team

and crime unit for being extremely helpful thus far!


Please please I beg our Harare citizens to take extra care where security is

concerned as these crimes seem to be happening more during the day time,

when we least expect it!


With a very heavy heart we say goodbye to one of the most loving, gentle and

kind husband, father and grandfather!


The memorial service will be confirmed once we know when family and friends

arrive from overseas.,


Many thanks and kind regards,



Ronel Hoffman





Cecil the Lion

Hannes Wessels posted: "     by Hannes Wessels In the face of possibly the biggest media-inspired lynch mob in history let’s assume those millions who have reached a guilty verdict in the best traditions of mob-rule have their vengeance assuaged and the hangman has his way"



Cecil the lion: What happens after the lynching?

                                                                                        by Hannes Wessels
In the face of possibly the biggest media-inspired lynch mob in history let’s assume those millions who have reached a guilty verdict in the best traditions of mob-rule have their vengeance assuaged and the hangman has his way with the timeous dispatch of Bronkhorst, Palmer and Ndhlovu to the hell they so richly deserve. Screams of excitement will be followed by cheers and the arduous task of retribution for Cecil will have been completed. But what then? The reason I ask is I’m not sure where that leaves us and I speak for the aforementioned ‘mob’ in assuming they do really care about conservation because there remains some unfinished business and I’m anxious to know what their next move is now that the neck-stretching is done.
I would simply ask all those millions who recently spat vitriol and venom to work on the assumption that at the same time ‘Cecil’ was hunted and killed thousands of other wild animals across sub-Saharan Africa were writhing in excruciating pain as they died slow, unheralded deaths in wire snares. Many others were walking wounded having been shot with light calibre weapons, home-made shotguns and poisoned arrows.
Regrettably, in Africa, only a small portion of the remaining wildlife estate is policed with significant rigour. The rest is open to illegal hunting. Thousands of poachers kill far more prolifically and cruelly than Doctor Palmer every single day of the year. But the problem for the media attack-dogs is these crimes against nature don’t fit their beloved narrative; they are not easy targets and they are not wealthy Americans or portly Afrikaaners with beer-bellies, and so they are excused exposure or vilification. And because their conduct is so quickly forgiven by the media and their followers, there is little or no hope for wildlife in Africa. Believe me, if lynching Bronkhorst, Palmer and Ndhlovu provided a solution, I’d be bringing the rope but it does not. In fact it will exacerbate a dire situation.
The reason has been touched on above. Most parks and game areas are poorly protected. Africa is the home of atrocious governance, abuse of power and rampant corruption. Within these benighted countries many wildlife areas are not suitable for photographic tourism. There are a variety of reasons including security; some areas are within or on the fringes of conflict areas. Some do not have the volume of game or species- variety to make them attractive to conventional tourists and some are simply too difficult and expensive to access. It is these places that in most cases have no protection. The only people prepared to fill that void are the professional safari hunters. They in turn are the only people likely to provide the game any protection.
In my experience, most professional hunters care deeply about the game they hunt. And even if they don’t, they have a vested commercial interest in protecting the resource. The only way they can remain financially viable and engage in the prevention of uncontrolled slaughter is if people like Doctor Palmer go hunting and pay the big prices big game hunting demands. On the back of the ‘Cecil’ debacle, the future of safari hunting is bleak and sadly, so too is the future of wildlife.
In one such area my friend Darrell runs a privately owned estate. The elephant and much of the game in the adjacent national park have been almost wiped out by poachers. Much of that game has fled to his property seeking sanctuary. He’s fighting a lonely and dangerous battle to respond adequately. With few photographic tourists willing to visit him, his only means of breaking even is through running some carefully controlled hunting safaris which provide the money to soldier on. When the foreign hunters go, so will he, closely followed by the animals he risks his life to defend.
For those who actually want to do something other than make a noise there are no shortage of challenges. Chinese-sponsored gangs, well armed with heavy rifles and automatic weapons are presently killing elephant at an unprecedented rate. Recently, elephant-rich areas of Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia have been all but wiped out.  The demand for lion and leopard bones from the far-east is at an all-time high putting a premium on big cats. Meat hunters are rapidly reducing the antelope and buffalo herds throughout Africa. For many of these animals the safari-hunters were their only hope.
So my question to all the outraged loudmouths out there baying for the blood of sport-hunters I ask what happens when you have had your way? Once they are out the field can we expect you or your nominees to continue the fight to save what is left from the poaching scourge presently bedevilling this continent? They say actions speak louder than words so let’s see some real action! And if you can’t put up then shut up!
Hannes Wessels | August 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Categories: Wildlife | URL:
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4th August 2015

While the world’s media focuses its attention on illegal hunting activities in Zimbabwe, centred on Cecil the lion,  The Zambezi Society  wishes to highlight a wildlife crisis of even greater proportion -  the plight of Zimbabwe’s elephants in the Zambezi Valley:- 
  • There has been a 75% decline in the numbers of elephants in the Zambezi Valley south of Lake Kariba (Sebungwe area) since 2001 - from 14,000 to 3,500.
  • A 40% decrease has been recorded in the middle Zambezi Valley complex (which includes Mana Pools) - from 18,000 to 11,500.

These statistics derive from a national air survey conducted by experts as part of the Africa-wide Great Elephant Census, which surveyed all major elephant populations in Africa in 2014.

Kenyan-based Save the Elephants recently highlighted a huge escalation in the demand and price of elephant tusks in China since 2002. China’s legal ivory trade, it believes, is acting as a smokescreen for horrific escalation of illegal activities which are driving the unsustainable killing of Africa’s elephants.

A recent census in Tanzania revealed a catastrophic 60% loss of that country’s elephants in just five years (109,051 in 2009 to 43,330 in 2014).  Mozambique has lost around 50% in the same period from 20,000 to 10,300.

In Africa (and Zimbabwe is no exception), state wildlife authorities are unable to provide sufficient policing and protection of wildlife areas.  The costs of protection are high, but government funds allocated for the purpose are negligible.  This gap is exploited by corruption.  Rangers on the ground, in general, are highly experienced but poorly paid.  

Your support is critically needed to assist with this critical human resource and will strengthen their motivation, resolve and performance.

Says The Zambezi Society:  “We are deeply concerned by these latest elephant figures.  The message for Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley is clear – poaching is rife and we need to do something about it urgently.”  

As a follow-up to the Zimbabwe elephant census, two anti-poaching workshops for the Middle Zambezi and the Sebungwe areas took place recently.  The Zambezi Society attended both and now sits on the Task Force steering committees for  each.  The Society has committed itself to work with Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) to act on certain of the prioritised actions resulting from these deliberations.

The Society has a Memorandum of Understanding with ZWPMA and a 30-year-old history of working with the Authority, other NGOs and the private sector to assist in combating anti-poaching in the Zambezi Valley.   Funds channelled via the Zambezi Society are fully accounted for and used in the most effective way possible.

Please help us to strengthen our anti-poaching efforts in the face of this elephant crisis by making a contribution via The Zambezi Society’s secure online payment system  or via the newly-formed, collaborative  Zambezi Elephant Fund  of which the Zambezi Society is a partner.

For more information, contact
The Zambezi Society
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Rhodesia (Desia/Dee) Coetzee

Memorial Notice: You are cordially invited to attend a tea to celebrate the life of Rhodesia (Desia/Dee) Coetzee on Saturday 29 August at 11 a.m. at 6 Burnham Road, Highlands, Harare.  Please confirm your attendance on 884288 or 0772-127471 or to assist with catering.

Why is it that we can't appreciate God's beautiful creatures when they are alive. Who gets enjoyment of seeing a drab, moth eaten skin on a room wall. It is lack lustre and dull. Any person can shoot an animal using a telescopic sight and a high powered weapon. Let's see how brave these people are if they faced a lion or leopard without a weapon. They would be easy meat. Our wildlife is beautiful and we as individuals have no right to destroy it. A leopard climbing a tree with it's fur glistening in the sunshine, with muscles rippling is a creature of awe and magnificence. If you want to shoot something do it with a camera. Leave it to live in peace as God would have wished for everyone including our children and grand children to enjoy. Rory


A study conducted by Loveridge and co-authors in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, that is surrounded by hunting blocks, probably gives the best indication to date of the consequences of trophy hunting on lion populations. Between 1999 and 2004, a total of 38 lions within the Park were tagged either with radiocollars or with ear tags, and 24 of those were shot by trophy hunters – baits were used to lure lions out of the protected area and into the hunting concessions. That offtake of 24 lions represented 72% of the adult territorial males tagged within the Park and 60% of the tagged subadult males. Two consequences became immediately apparent: the proportion of adult males/females declined from 1:2.8 to 1:6.3, and the rapid turnover of males resulted in increased infanticide. In terms of male turnover, two lion prides saw a change of males four times during the five years of the study as previous male coalitions were successively removed by hunters. A total of 19 cubs were lost most likely lost due to infanticide (directly observed on five occasions) from four prides. And at times, males removed from a pride were not replaced for considerable periods of time – in one instance no “replacement” males appeared for 16 months. - See more at:


I feel that Cecil has become the mascot carrying the banner for our wildlife and illegal hunting. I am not capable of suffering for every horrible situation that I am bombarded with daily.  The migrants' struggle that dominates the news is hard for me to appreciate. It took the picture of a one year old little girl to give me a vision of what these people are going through. She became the mascot in my limited capacity of sympathy and understanding.  I feel no guilt that I adopted Cecil as a token of the holistic wrong of illegal hunting, the suffering of every desperate animal on the SPCA site, the Zimbabwean elephants in China. There is need for so much more than collective sympathy but only so much that can be done by one person.  Cecil has mobilised huge interest and resources. The Judge in Hwange may think twice about a light sentence now. I bet you those guys have done exactly this before and had every intention of carrying on. If Cecil flies the flag of illegal hunting in ZImbabwe for how ever long it lasts then we are better off for having known Cecil. Cecil made a difference and has drawn awareness, the definition of a useful life. The dreaded dentist and Bronkhorst have been directly effected by all of this and without Cecil it would be business as usual. Belinda

I think Hannes' article on Cecil the Lion is excellent. It is so automatic to think only with one's heart and not one's head. Yet we must not be too harsh on those who have had this emotional outcry, as they have not been educated into the very complex subject of wildlife conservation, and hopefully this article will in some way explain the situation.  It would really be a good idea, I think, if readers forwarded it on to their contacts all over the world, (as I intend to do) and hopefully they will understand the logic of it and not stupidly dismiss it "as an excuse for hunting". We who love all animals so dearly and grieve over the death of each and every one of them have had to accept the hard fact that at times controlled hunting and culling have to take place for the benefit and survival of the rest of the animals.  That is not to say that those legitimate hunters  disobeying the rules and baiting and luring animals out of a Protected Area for hunting should not be severely penalised.  Let the world now learn about the need to protect our animals who die in their thousands at the hands of poachers, in spite of brave and dedicated anti-poaching teams who risk their lives against the often sophisticated weaponry of the poachers; and the corruption and bribery involved at top levels in African countries.  CB


Good to hear from my erstwhile colleague, Hannes, in Mutare.


His points are very telling yet I need to underscore the dodgy point Bronkhorst made on Sky News  that "... if there was no controlled hunting there would be no lions left in the country ! "

... , by quoting from " Great Days " [written by Frank Johnson when his pioneer column finally arrived at Mt.Hampden on the 11th Sept 1890] :


         " It was past sunset when we finally pitched camp. In the light which was still dim, I made out the form of a black-maned lion which made off in a gorged condition having taken my valuable horse I got in one lucky shot  as a souvenir of the last day of the Great Trek " .


There were no horses, mules or oxen in the country until the white man rode them in, so they were  "easy meat " for the countless lion and leopards every step of their way  - even Courtney Selous could not shoot enough of them to protect the column's transport.  Jeremy Lewis


Bottom line-this all happened because of too much money. The dentist has so much that he could pay the legal fee plus pay the guides (Bronkhurst and co) extra in order to kill the biggest and best lion, no matter how much it cost him, and no matter in what cruel way. He got what he wanted-Cecil-the biggest and best. I hope the 3 people involved in this killing, go bankrupt. That way they will be out of hunting for good.


Very well said, and absolutely accurate.  We need controlled hunting, and as he says there are thousands of animals killed each day by poachers etc.  I just hope the killing of Cecil won’t spoil it for those who genuinely are doing something to preserve the precious wildlife.



Comments on anmals

People need to know that the elephant poaching is totally out of control in the Chirundu area.  Two ellies slaughtered just down from the  pump house near Tiger Safaris & then another 3 further down from there.  5 beautiful elephants in one week!  National parks have no vehicle, no funds, nothing.  Tears for the beautiful ellies.   Too sad.


I have just returned back from a road trip to Zambia and boy oh boy was I mad to see sooooo many veld fires. What are people thinking? When is that much needed grass that the animals survive on going to grow - especially with no rains foreseen for the next couple of months. Where is EMA or at least the relevant authorities to bring these people to book. Why is it not made to be what it is a criminal offence and the jail term should be sufficient enough to deter people from doing such an insensitive act - for what? to clear their field when an animal has no choice in the matter... People need to learn to live with nature and not be selfish to want nature to live with them... We are killing this world by our selective ignorance. Do right by mother nature and she will do right - right back at ya.

I disagree with Kirsten – Art Farm is the one glorious place we can take our dogs and let them run free.  In all the countless times I have walked there I have never seen a dog fight, never seen a dog attacking a person or another dog. It is such a great freedom for the animals and the owners.  I agree that if one has a difficult dog it should be leashed.  Susie


Walking dogs off leash. Thank you to "Paolo" and "Blue Heeler", I agree with you 100%. To the lady who commented below "Blue Heeler". I feel so sorry for you that you live in such fear. Julia


Dancing is not only excellent exercise, but it gives poise and a social skill.   It is particularly beneficial for people coming to terms with a disability.


Ladies Golf: Was scoring at the G&P at Chapman yesterday – it’s the ladies triangular with Kenya and Zambia and the run up to the open this weekend!  One of the Zambian ladies commented that “our men were very strange” – in Zambia the men come out to support the ladies!!  Perhaps our men could take a leaf out of their book and support the ladies this weekend!  All the best  Win


Just a thought, but I think Antelope Park `PROTESTS just too much about their innocence’ in their part in canned hunting.  The deed might not be done within Zimbabwe, but the lions are `shipped’ out to South Africa.  Ex-Gweruite


HI Mike. I am an outdoors person and believe in the importance of looking after fauna and flora for all the good reasons. I am more of a fisherman but all the same my main curiosity with the Cecil saga is if anybody has broken the law. If the law was broken in the process of ‘doing’’ good then surely we should be pushing to align the laws. 


Cecil; Fact from Fiction:  FACT: Nat Parks publicly said the following: NO lion quota available on the said farm at the time of the hunt. FACT: The pro hunter publicly said that ‘we saw this big maned lion come to the bait at 10.00 PM and the client shot at it’. FACT: lion shot illegally (NO licence); FACT: hunt took place AT NIGHT - All TOTALLY ILLEGAL. FACT: The pro hunter knew exactly what he was doing and ‘sold’ the hunt to the client for extra cash (a bribe?), with the connivance of the concession  holder.   FACT: He is not the only hunter that operates this way This pro hunter should have his licence revoked entirely and the concession holder should lose the concession.  Finn


I would like to know why when I request donations towards our Gache Gache anti-poaching unit only 2 or 3 people come forward with something. No one even comments (if on fb).  If each one of these people who are so quick to slate hunting, (and ruin a hunter's life in the process) even when controlled, put one single conservation Dollar where their mouths are, we would be able to do so much more. Very few if any of these do anything towards conservation. I believe if they stop the hunting, the lack of presence on the ground of hunting operators will leave it open to poachers who will kill off everything. Goodbye wildlife!    Pat


What a brilliant and balanced response to all the baying hounds........I absolutely love the amazing wildlife and wildlife areas that we have always had such relatively free access to in Zim ., and I loathe with a passion , the evils of poaching , and indiscriminate trapping and slaughter taking place .....but lets get some balance into this mushroomed equation. Lynne.

Ian (John Maitland) McArthy

Death Notice: It is with sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Dad and grandfather. Ian (John Maitland) McArthy at the grand old age of 91. A memorial service will be held at Borradaile Trust on Monday 17 August at 10am. There will also be a service in Harare on Tuesday 25th August, at Highlands Presbyterian Church at 2pm. All are most Welcome.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands - A small but very “hands on” operation dealing with mainly the elderly in the comfort of their own homes. We also deal with children and young adults. We have over 60 care givers independently registered with us ranging from qualified SRN’s, RGN’s to qualified nurse aides and companion care giver’s. All the Srn’s and Rgn’s are registered with the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe and are current and all those registered with us are screened and police cleared. We deal with a myriad of ailments ranging from Dementia, Parkinson’s, post-op, head trauma, paraplegics, stroke victims, cancer and more... On call doctor, wound specialist, occupational therapist, dietician and we also report to and take instructions from the respective client’s  own doctor if it is deemed necessary. A report is also provided to close family members living outside of Zimbabwe. We are also the sole distributors of “ state of the art” electric/hydraulic patient hoists and slings and training is provided. “We go that extra mile” for all our clients.


Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances during 2012 we had to close down operations for a period of time (4 months) but we have since revived the operation and are now seeking to promote our services.  




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