Tough sentence sends clear message: Man (36) imprisoned for illegally possessing live pangolin


In a significant crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade, a Bindura Magistrate sentenced a 36-year-old man to 9 years in prison for possessing a live pangolin.

The accused, Douglas Chikandiwa, was convicted of contravening Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Act. On October 13, 2023, officials from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) received a tip-off that Chikandiwa was attempting to sell a live pangolin.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimparks officers set up a sting operation, posing as potential buyers and arranging to meet Chikandiwa in Mazowe. With the assistance of the police, Chikandiwa was apprehended upon arriving at the meeting location. A search of his Nissan Tiida vehicle led to the recovery of the live pangolin in his possession.

When asked to produce a valid permit or license authorizing him to hold the endangered animal, Chikandiwa was unable to do so, leading to his immediate arrest. The Bindura Magistrate subsequently handed down a 9-year prison sentence to the convicted wildlife trafficker.

This case underscores the ongoing efforts by Zimbabwean authorities to combat the illegal trade in protected species, which poses a significant threat to the country’s biodiversity. The severe sentence imposed on Chikandiwa serves as a strong deterrent and reinforces Zimbabwe’s commitment to upholding its environmental protection laws.

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