Addressing the problem of elephant poaching in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
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The International Community, Non Governmental Organizations, various media as well as individual conservationists have accused the government of casting a blind eye while the country’s elephant heritage is decimated almost to extinction by poachers. The study was prompted by the fact that elephant poaching in Victoria Falls District is continuing regardless of the various anti poaching strategies being implemented. Besides tarnishing the credibility of Government in managing its own resources, poaching threatens and tarnishes the image and global status of a World Heritage site like Victoria Falls. The study aimed at establishing the causes, effects of elephant poaching, current strategies being used and to recommend further strategies that can be adopted. A mixed research design was used to source data from members of the Parks and Wildlife Authority, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Forestry Commission, Opinion leaders as well as the public in Victoria Falls. The narrative analysis was used to analyze data which was obtained through the various instruments used to collect data. Economic hardships, poverty and unemployment featured prominently as the reason why people are committing elephant poaching. It is recommended that earnest efforts be made to implement Sustainable Development Goals 1,2,8 and 15 which requires nations to; initiate programs that end poverty in all its forms; end hunger and achieve food security; promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and provide decent work. Addressing these SDGs will indirectly address the drivers of elephant poaching. Benefits from wildlife conservation should trickle down to the village man. Communities should also be involved in conservation work. It is further recommended that strict controls be put in place to avoid cyanide poison from being illegally accessed and used.