Poacher in hot soup after his snares caught cattle


Beitbridge poacher faces dual convictions for snaring cattle, damaging property

In a damning indictment of wildlife crime in Zimbabwe, a 28-year-old Beitbridge man has been handed a substantial sentence for his role in a poaching operation and the malicious destruction of property. Trust Ndou was convicted on two separate charges by the Beitbridge Magistrates’ Court – one count of “making, possessing or using class 1 traps” and another for malicious damage to property.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe, the disturbing incident unfolded in April 2024, when Ndou, accompanied by three juvenile accomplices, ventured into the Sentinel Range and set up a staggering 47 wire snares. This illegal activity had devastating consequences, as five unsuspecting bovine animals became ensnared while grazing in the area.

The grim discovery was made by a local resident whose bovine was ensnared.

He discovered that four more beasts were trapped by the wire snares including the complainant’s cow which was already dead. He freed the other beasts and informed the complainant over the cellphone who then proceeded to Sentinel and identified the dead beast. The matter was reported to the game scouts who attended the scene and managed to apprehend the accused person.

For the first charge of setting the illegal snares, Ndou was sentenced to 15 months in prison, with 4 months suspended. The remaining 11 months were suspended on the condition that he performs 385 hours of community service.

On the second count, he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment of which 3 months were suspended. 6 months were suspended on condition that he performs 210 hours of community service. A further 3 months were suspended on condition that he restitutes ZiG10 000. He will perform 595 hours of community service in total.

In total, Ndou will serve 595 hours of community service as part of his punishment, underscoring the gravity of his crimes and the importance of deterring such harmful activities that threaten both wildlife and property.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges faced in protecting the delicate ecosystems of Zimbabwe, and the need for continued vigilance and strong enforcement to combat the scourge of poaching and environmental destruction.

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