Mozambican Police Shoot Malawian Rhino Poacher

By Jorge Joaquim

 A Mozambican police officer shot a 60-year-old Malawian citizen in possession of two rhino horns as he tried to flee with five other people in Niassa province. The incident took place last Thursday as the men were looking for customers to sell the horns to.

The man shot by the Mozambican police (PRM) was carrying a backpack containing the horns, the spokesman for the PRM in Niassa province, Alves Mate, told the press.

The man was shot in the leg and the rest of the group managed to escape. The men fled towards Malawi.

The spokesman emphasised that the PRM is in contact with the Malawian authorities with a view to locating the five fugitives.

The rhino horns were trafficked in the Niassa Special Reserve (NSR), where there has been an increase in poaching.

There are four current major threats to NSR’s biodiversity which are largely driven by external factors, namely, poaching of elephants for ivory, poisoning of large carnivores and vultures for body parts, artisanal mining, and the extraction of hardwood timber for commercial use.

The main drivers for these threats are external markets, mostly in East Asia, however poor governance and weak law enforcement are the local drivers that allow these illegal activities to thrive in northern Mozambique.

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