Mugabe ships wildlife across Zimbabwe ahead of World Tourism meeting

Mugabe ships wildlife across Zimbabwe ahead of world tourism meeting

President Robert Mugabe has ordered the move of more than 300 safari animals across Zimbabwe from a conservancy ahead of a UN meeting.

The animals, including giraffes, zebras and wildebeest, have been transported from southeast Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls in a bid to "repopulate" a nature reserve that is prone to poaching.

According to Eye Witness News, the independent Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has criticised authorities for the decision to move the animals, some of which were relocated over a week ago.

State media reported that the move was due to much of the game in Victoria Falls being poached.

The Daily Mail reports that the animals were released in the Zambezi National Park.

Head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Johnny Rodrigues said: "Zimbabwe always claims to have an abundance of animals, so why is it necessary to move these animals to where the delegates of U.N. World Tourism Organization will be able to see them?"

The UN's decision to hold the six-day World Tourism Organisation assembly in Zimbabwe was criticised as "disgraceful" amid reports of election rigging and continuing human rights abuses, AP reports.

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