By: Josefina Lukas
A total of 62 active wire snares have been retrieved in Okaukuejo, an area around the Etosha National Park, in three days.
According to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), Romeo Muyunda, the illegal hunting and killing of wild animals using wire snares is increasing in Etosha National Park, causing concern for the Ministry.
Muyunda said the practice of using wire snares for hunting is unsanctioned, illegal and punishable by law.
The authorities are however suspecting the approximately 400 community members residing within the national park for the wire snares with the intention to hunt and kill game animals for meat.
The authorities have also arranged a search for the suspected residents of Okaukuejo.
Muyunda stated that four community meetings were conducted by the joint team of Namibian Police (Nampol), MEFT and Namibia Defence Force (NDF) to educate and remind members of the community about the rules and regulations of the national park, as well as inform them about the penalties for contravening the provisions of the law.
Muyunda said wire snares removal from animals is now part of their daily duties as part of park management.
“Snare removal exercise is ongoing in all our national parks, we want to call upon our tourists or visitors in the parks that may come across active wire snares, traps or any other illegal activity to report to the Ministry’s officials for swift action,” Muyunda said.
He warned those involved in this unlawful activity to either stop or face the consequences of being caught and charged with illegal hunting of game. He also cautioned officials that they will be dealt with if any of them are involved in the activity.
“Should it be established that any of our officials are involved, they will be severely dealt with following set disciplinary protocols,” he said.
Muyunda advised the public to not tarnish the reputation of Etosha National Park since it’s the cpountry’s flagship park.