Snaring crisis in Zimbabwe

Snares are the indiscriminate killers of the African bush and painted dogs are increasingly falling victim to these brutal traps. They pose a huge threat to animals living on the borders of Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe, and the Mpindothela pack, in particular, have been suffering horribly over these past few months.  

The pack are currently spending most of their time in the Gwayi area, a poaching hotspot, and a very dangerous place for the dogs to be. In the last few weeks alone, our partners on the ground have de-snared the same three adults a total of five times. 

At the start of January, one of the males from the Mpindothela pack, Washy, was caught up in a snare around his waist. After successfully removing it and treating the wound, the team proceeded to scan the nearby area and found a further 12 active snares, including four from a neighbouring crop field. This led to the arrest of the owner who admitted he was responsible, and the culprit is now in custody awaiting trial. It is hoped that the dogs will move to a safer area soon but, in the meantime, our teams will continue to provide the highest level of protection for these animals, wherever they may go. 

Image credits: Nicholas Dyer

The Sommamalisa pack have also been badly affected by snares. The team were able to catch up with the pack in December and removed snares from three of the dogs. During this time, they took the opportunity to collar one of them in order to track this pack in future. The same approach was taken with Ndlelende from the Bachijwa pack and the alpha female from the Mpindothela pack. As well as allowing the dogs to be located quickly, these collars’ anti-snare features also help them to fight off these traps. 

Sadly, snares continue to pose a significant threat to painted dogs in Zimbabwe, and our teams are finding no less than 200 a month during their patrols. Thanks to their dedication and rapid response to incidents, many lives have been saved but we need your help to continue supporting this essential conservation work. Maintaining the current level of vehicle patrols is extremely challenging, as fuel prices have increased by a staggering 20,000 dollars a year. Your support helps to maintain these patrols and save the lives of these majestic and endangered dogs.

If you can, please donate today to help ensure a brighter future for painted dogs in the wild, where they belong.