Conserving Zim’s wildlife

The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit’s (VFAPU) annual fund-raising Golf Day will be held in Harare on September 21.

With the field filling fast, the organisers of the event, Africa Albida Tourism, says there is still space for more teams to enter, as well as for businesses or individuals to sponsor greens, tee-boxes and prizes.

Africa Albida Tourism is a hospitality group. The VFAPU head of operations, Charles Brightman, said the $24 972 raised at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club event last year was vital in ensuring that its operations against all forms of poaching in the Victoria Falls region could continue.

“Our supported operations last year produced positive results, where a total of 245 poachers were apprehended, and we were able to save a buffalo, a giraffe and several warthogs injured by poaching activities,” Mr Brightman said.

“VFAPU was also instrumental in saving a pangolin from poachers, which was rescued after an under-cover operation,” he added.

During 2017, VFAPU also removed a total of 388 wire snares from the bush surrounding Victoria Falls, he said.

“The annual VFAPU Golf Day is such an important event, providing necessary funds and support for the unit, and we look forward to seeing all the teams on the course soon.”

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said, “VFAPU has always been a major part of our corporate social responsibility programme and we continue to support it nearly 20 years later.”

It is significant that every cent raised through the Golf Day goes directly to VFAPU and in the last six years, $115 000 has been raised for the unit through this event, Mr Kennedy said.

Up to 144 players, making up 36 teams, participate in the VFAPU Golf Day, one of the most enjoyable and best organised events on the golf fund-raising calendar, which will also include lunch, entertainment, prizes and a charity auction.

Since VFAPU was established in 1999, the unit has arrested 734 hardened poachers, removed more than 22 300 wire snares and 224 mammals injured by snares have been treated and released back into the wild.

VFAPU, which works in support of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, operates in a 50 square kilometre area around Victoria Falls, and has 17 scouts patrolling seven days a week.

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