Zim to export wildlife to China

Godfrey Marawanyika

ZIMBABWE plans to start exporting wildlife to China in the third quarter of the year although it is not yet known what animal species will be involved, the Zimbabwe Independent has establ

ished.


Senior officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Authority are expected to leave for China this month to undertake an ecological assessment on where the animals will be kept.


The assessment is a requirement of the Convention For the International Trade in Endangered Spices (Cites) before animals can be moved from one ecological region to another.


A Chinese delegation is also expected to visit Harare to finalise the deal once National Parks officials have done their assessment.


Environment and Tourism minister Francis Nhema confirmed to the Independent that Zimbabwe would be exporting wildlife to China but said this was part of an exchange programme.


“Last year when we were in China we asked for four tigers on an experimental basis. I know South Africa got six from China. This is just an exchange programme, as they (the Chinese) want to restock their parks,” he said.


“I am not sure when the National Parks officials will be leaving for China and when the Chinese team will be coming over.”


Nhema could not say where the tigers are currently being kept.

In 2000 Zimbabwe also exported animals that included lions, buffaloes, giraffes and leopards to Nigeria.


Some of the animals are being housed at Nigeria’s State House whilst others are kept at a Children’s Park.