Drought-hit Zim to sell off game in its national parks – wildlife authority

Harare  Zimbabwe's national wildlife authority is selling off some of its animals because of the drought that has badly affected great swathes of the southern African country, it announced Sunday.

It was not immediately clear which animals are being sold. But members of the public "with the capacity to acquire and manage wildlife" have been invited to approach Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA).

In a statement, the wildlife authority said, "In the light of the drought that was induced by theEl Niño phenomenon, PWMA intends to destock its parks estates through selling some of the wildlife."

Drought has badly affected game in national parks in Zimbabwe in other years. 

Solar-powered pumps

In 1992  the date of the last very serious drought  thousands of animals were reported to have died of thirst and starvation in Hwange National Park. 

Elephants were particularly badly affected, with 80 reported to have died of thirst during the hot dry season in Hwange in 2011.

Conservation groups such as the Bhejane Trust have been working to install solar-powered pumps in parts of Hwange to provide drinking water for parched game.

President Robert Mugabe has described this year's drought as "one of the worst droughts in living memory". 

Those interested in buying wildlife have been told to indicate what they would use the animals for and whether they had infrastructure already in place to accommodate them.