Massingir — The dam at Massingir in southwestern Mozambique is like a bridge between two worlds, one a deadly threat to the wildlife in the other. On one side of the 46m high dam lies the vast regional Great Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area and its protected game animals. On the other sits a town used as a base by those who hunt them illegally. Set on the reservoir’s southern shore, the town of Massingir has acquired a dubious reputation as a local poaching hub. Organised criminal gangs use it as a rear operating base to procure supplies and launch incursions across the border, running through the conservation area into SA’s Kruger National Park to hunt rhinoceros.

"You’ve got these forces of conservation trying to conserve the wildlife, and you’ve got the crime syndicates that are in town and openly show their wealth, with lavish houses, and vehicles — and there is no secret who these people are," said Peter Leitner, of the NGO Peace Parks Foundation, which supports cr...

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