From: Chapungu Safaris [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
!! ATTENTION ALL FISHERMEN AND WILDLIFE ENTHUSIASTS !!
Whilst every effort is being made & a good success rate has been met, in order to keep the POACHING to a minimum in our Gache Gache Wilderness area, and the Gache Gache River, we are STILL having to be a presence in the area constantly.
In the last couple of weeks we have had a buffalo with a snare on his foot (still alive, we are trying to dart him to remove the snare), a hippo was found dead, died by starving to death as his foot was in a snare attached to a tree so that he could not move (see pic below). He was in thick bush, was not found until too late sadly… In the river we have had several incidents where poachers have been arrested and others warned and cautioned and illegal nylon nets removed and destroyed. Boats have been confiscated and the authorities informed.
“Stompie” - our 'elephant with no trunk’ was recently seen in our area again! He seems to be doing well despite also not having tusks. (Very small body size.) Other elephant in the herd help him out by stripping bark for him… But, see how he has to get on his knees in order to reach the water to drink as his trunk is now so short after being severed in a snare, about 5 or 6 years ago.
We obviously need the fish and the wildlife in our area for our lodge to thrive, but with current trends in tourism we cannot sustain the anti-poaching team in the way we would like to, for it to be more effective. Bed nights are down, the economy taking its toll on tourism in general in Zimbabwe. If we don’t ask for help from those of you who DO BENEFIT by fishing in the Gache, by seeing how the wildlife has come back incredibly in the last 5 years due to this project, and from those of you who understand the logistics of anti-poaching in a Communal area such as ours, we will be doomed. We hate to ask for cash donations, we would love to be able to sustain this project from the lodge but in all sincerity this is not happening right now. We are not winning and need further assistance from the public in general, those who care and understand.
We thank those who, like TREK Petroleum are a constant monthly saviour in these trying times as well as Ian Miller and his FFClub and Natalie Kirk from Kefalos too. If we had a few more monthly stop orders that we could rely upon it would go a long way towards the cause. As a Communal area it is a Community project, totally different from a National Parks area project. Our Scouts need uniforms, food, financial rewards and we need to upkeep the boats, motors, vehicle and other equipment that Chapungu Safaris have provided from day 1. It is rather ‘tired’ at the moment and of course other donations such as boats, motors, equipment would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks also go to once off donors and National Parks, Border Patrol, Magunje Police and Kariba Police who back us up in extreme cases when called upon.
IF you can help with this project please contact Pat on 0772264159 (ecocash) or email email@example.com. Visit our fb page www.facebook.com/EPS.Songo.Gache and ‘like’ the page to get constant updates of what’s happening in the area and partake as much as possible in the survival of all the fish and wildlife in the Gache Gache Wilderness area. This is for our children’s children to benefit as we have, in the future! Let them experience catching that amazing fighting Tiger Fish, seeing a lion in its natural environment...
For those of you who have never been to Gache, you will enjoy the experience I am sure, and you can see for yourself how much of a toll the poaching takes on the fish and wildlife in the area.
Here are some photos of recent activity in the area.
Lance Mackenzie helping pick up big snares - obviously laid for buffalo, hippo, etc. due to the size of them.
Stompie having a drink...
Stompie has to get on his knees in order to reach the water as his trunk is so short after being caught in a snare when young.