3 men in hot soup after filming themselves killing an elephant using traditional weapons and dogs


Three men from Hurungwe who filmed themselves using traditional weapons and dogs to kill an elephant faced charges in front of a Kariba magistrate for illegally hunting in a safari area without a permit.

Francis Chigomararwa (30), Simeon Kezias (23), and Arthur Murimbika (24), all hailing from Nyamakate, are also accused of killing a buffalo. The shocking incident came to light when a video of the gruesome act went viral, showcasing the men setting their dogs on the elephant before attacking it with spears and axes.

The elephant was slain in Phundundu Concession on December 8 of the previous year, but the arrests were made just this weekend. The fourth member of their group, Kennedy Godera from Fox village in Nyamakate, who allegedly led the team during the hunt, remains at large.

During the bail hearing, the State objected to their release, emphasizing the detrimental effects of poaching on tourism, revenue collection, and the ecosystem. Poaching not only diminishes the allure of countries known for their diverse wildlife but also disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems and threatens biodiversity.

According to court documents, the investigation was initiated following the circulation of a viral video on social media, displaying the poachers engaging in the act of hunting and eventually killing the elephant using spears, axes, and dogs. On January 10, police detectives from the Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit, along with officers from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Wildlife Crime Unit, a division of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, conducted a search in the Phundundu concession area to apprehend the accused.

Allegedly, the accused confessed to plotting the elephant hunt on December 8, 2023, and identified Godera as their leader. In the early hours of December 9, the suspects entered the Phundundu Concession area, where they encountered a herd of elephants. They unleashed their dogs on the herd and singled out one elephant, launching a brutal attack with spears and axes. The elephant succumbed to excessive bleeding from a pierced ear.

Chigomararwa delivered several fatal blows to the elephant’s head with an axe until it ceased to live. The accused proceeded to skin the elephant and shared the meat, drying it in the forest for easier handling. They claimed that it was Godera who recorded the viral video using his mobile phone.

Upon inspection of the scene, police detectives discovered the skull, lower jaws, and ribs of the slain elephant. The weapons utilized in the killing, as well as nine dogs, were confiscated. The elephant was estimated to be worth around US$50,000.

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