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Kasungu National Park making strides in beating poaching

Authorities at Kasungu National Park are expressing confidence in measures in place to eradicate encroachment, poaching and human animal conflicts in communities around the area.

Since the establishment of village natural resources management committees among people living close to the park, trends in encroachment, poaching and conflicts have decreased.

In an interview with Capital FM, Head of Environmental Education and Extension Services at Kasungu National Park, Matias Eliya, has indicated that people are understanding that the park serves them better in a lot of aspects other than poaching.

“We have a community enforcement network where the community members provide information to us when they see illegal activities happening in the community, or when they are about to happen,” explained Eliya.

He has further highlighted that despite enforcement of relations with communities, the park is working with police to use trained dogs in sniffing wildlife trophy from poachers and traffickers.

The dogs according to Eliya have abilities that are better than those for humans in locating foul play against wildlife.

Dog trainer with dog
A police trainer demonstrating how dogs are used to sniff wildlife crimes

“The police and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust officials have demonstrated how these special dogs work and we believe it is an eye opener an assurance that the dogs can sniff out illegal wildlife activities around Kasungu National Park,” Eliya added.

Weighing in his views, Senior Chief Lukwa of Kasungu commended park officials and other community leaders for enhancing relations that aim at protecting Kasungu National Park and its animals.

“Way back, the relationship was very bad because people saw officers from the park as enemies because they were stopping them from poaching and cutting down trees,” said Lukwa.

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He has indicated that presently, it is the same community members who are now working with park officials to keep the shape of the park by guarding against poaching and maintaining a fence wire that was installed around the park to stop animals from terrorizing nearby villages.

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