Picture: 123RF/ACHIM PRILL
Picture: 123RF/ACHIM PRILL

Harare— Zimbabwe is to allow bow and arrow hunting of buffalo in a bid to capture a growing part of the international sports trophy hunting market.

“As part of diversifying our product we have now introduced bow and arrow hunting … to attract more people to Zimbabwe,” Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said .

The market for wealthy hunters from the developed world seeking a trophy specimen for display is becoming more competitive.

Neighbouring Botswana has ended a five-year ban on elephant hunting, sparking protests from conservationists who reject the argument that it will help provide money for poor countries and lead to better management of animal stocks.

“What we are doing is to capture that market, so that we can also have more revenue and put the money back into conservation, improve our economy, create more jobs,” Farawo said.

Zimbabwe boasts a healthy population of buffalo running into hundreds of thousands. The country’s wildlife is a draw for tourists as well as trophy hunters from the US , Europe and SA.

Perhaps the best-known game park is Hwange, on the border with Botswana, where the killing with a bow and arrow by a US hunter in 2015 of a much-loved lion called Cecil caused worldwide outrage.

Earlier in May , the cash-strapped government said it had sold nearly 100 elephants to China and Dubai for $2.7m over six years, citing overpopulation in the national parks, encroaching into human settlements, destruction of crops and posing a risk to human life.

The Chronicle newspaper said 93 elephants were flown to parks in China and four to Dubai from 2012 to 2018. They were sold for between $13,500 and $41,500 each.