Search and rescue efforts to account for four suspected game rangers reported missing since Tuesday are underway in the Mana Pools National Park wildlife area amid conflicting reports of what could have transpired.
Teams comprising the police, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) combed the wildlife area into late yesterday evening.This followed a report from villagers in communities adjacent to the park that four people had gone missing with some suggesting that they could have drunk poisoned water.
Aerial searches had not yielded any results yesterday with Parks officials contemplating sending a helicopter which could manoeuvre near the ground.
Police yesterday confirmed receiving reports of missing persons but could not give further detail.
“We confirm receiving reports of missing persons in the Marongora area of Mana Pools National Park but details are still sketchy with a lot of questions that need to be answered,” said Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara.
However, EMA provincial manager Mrs Eunice Mutepfa said nothing had been found by late yesterday afternoon.
“We are continuing with the search to verify the authenticity of the report but so far nothing has come up,” she said.
Police are now making frantic efforts to locate the villagers who made the report so that they could provide useful information on the direction the search effort should take.
Parks officials had not established contact with their team of rangers by yesterday afternoon through their radio communication devices.
Some poachers have been known to lace watering holes with poison in a bid to kill animals.
Hurungwe district administrator Mr Friend Ngirazi confirmed receiving the report but said details are still sketchy.
Details of the missing persons have not yet been established. Herald