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Poachers’ Poison Kills 14 Elephants in Zimbabwe

posted: 10/08/15
by: Danny Clemens
Elephants in Hwange
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An African elephant and her baby are pictured on November 18, 2012 in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Fourteen elephants in Zimbabwe have died from cyanide poisoning, officials say.

Three of the elephants were killed in Matusadona National Park; the remaining 11 were killed in Hwange National Park, the same park where Cecil the lion lived prior to his death earlier this year.

Six of the elephants in Hwange were found with their tusks removed. Officials believe that something interrupted the poachers before they were able to harvest all of the animals' ivory.

Evidence found in the parks indicates that poachers fed the animals cyanide-laced oranges and salt licks.

Five arrests have already been made in connection to the case, and officials believe that they have found shoes associated with the suspects that match prints found at the scene. The Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project is offering a cash reward for any further information about the crime.

"We have had a number of poaching activities in the province - they are actually increasing each day. Some are done through the use of firearms and, of course, we have cases where we suspect there is cyanide poisoning," local police commander Clement Munoriarwa told state television.

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