The Ministry of Tourism and Arts says the capture of live animals in South Luangwa National Park is meant to facilitate restocking of depleted or under stocked national parks or wildlife areas.
Ministry spokesperson Sakabilo Kalembwe said the capture of animals is not for export of animals to other countries, but to benefit the wildlife estates in Zambia in line with the Seventh National Development Plan.
Mr Kalembwe said the capture area is South Luangwa National Park and not the Game Management Area where communities are co-partners in wildlife managing and benefit sharing.
He said the Minister of Tourism and Arts issued capture permits to three game ranches between August 2018 and April 2019 to capture live animals in the South Luangwa National Park. This was in
Mr Kalembwe said the three game ranches are Witpens, Mbizi game ranch owned by Mr Micheal we Gre-Dejestam; and Munyama game ranches
He said Mbizi game ranch has not paid for the animals as the game ranch is an open and adjacent to the South National Park meaning that animals at this ranch are state property.
Mr Kalembwe said in a statement that animals at this ranch move in and out of the National Park to the ranch and therefore cannot be owned by Mbizi game ranch.
He said contrary to the speculation on social media, the total number of animals to be captured in South Luangwa National Park is 127, broken down as follows: 10 impalas, 10 waterbucks, 12 zebras, 15 warthogs, 30 pukus and 50 buffalos.
Mr Kalembwe said the wildlife population survey conducted in the South Luangwa Park in 2015 indicated that population estimates of these species were impalas 10,873; waterbucks 1,106; warthogs 1,029; pukus 4,146; and buffalos 3,808. Therefore, the total animals to be removed will have no significant impact on the populations in the Park.
He said reason In the next two to three years, there will be no capture of live animals from National Parks for private game ranches. However, the government will continue to capture animals from National Parks with health populations and restock other understocked National Parks or community wildlife areas in line with the 7NDP.