Home Crime and Courts Two Village Heads Jailed for Killing Lion in Dete

Two Village Heads Jailed for Killing Lion in Dete

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Two village heads from Dete, Elias Nyoni (51) and Zenzo Ndlovu (47), have been sentenced to jail for their involvement in the illegal trapping and killing of a lion. The pair appeared before a Hwange Magistrate on charges related to setting a class one wire snare to capture the animal.

The incident came to light when the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) reported suspicions of a lion’s death to the police on May 17, 2024. The lion’s collar tracking signal had remained stationary from May 12 to May 17, prompting concerns. A joint team of police and ZimParks officials went to the site, discovering a donkey carcass and a class one wire snare with lion fur nearby.

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Subsequent investigations in the illegal resettlements, known locally as Muraga, connected Nyoni and Ndlovu to the crime. The accused led authorities to recover the damaged collar tracker and the snare used to trap the lion. Further searches revealed three sacks of game meat, 16 lion claws, and four lion teeth. The lion was valued at USD 20,000.

Nyoni and Ndlovu pleaded guilty to the charges. They were each sentenced to 12 months in prison, with six months suspended for five years. Additionally, they were ordered to compensate ZimParks USD 20,000. The class one snares, lion claws, teeth, and game meat were forfeited to the state.

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