|Benjie Batanes |||Aug 07, 2015 09:21 AM EDT|
(Photo : Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) China has agreed to donate $2 million to combat poaching in Zimbabwe. A month ago, the famous Zimbabwean lion Cecil was struck by an arrow from a poacher identified as Walter Palmer, an American dentist.
China on Thursday promised to help Zimbabwe's fight against poachers with a $2 million fund that can be used to purchase various equipment. China's pledge comes amidst global outcry over the recent murder of Zimbabwe's most beloved lion, Cecil.
Researchers have since pointed out that many of the horns and tusks of animals killed by poachers usually end up in Chinese market places. Such items are valued due to the belief that they contain medicinal properties.
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China's ambassador to Zimbabwe Lin Lin made the announcement during a press gathering in the Zimbabwean capital Harare. Lin said the donation will help African nation provide better protection to the remaining endangered species in the country.
Vehicles, GPS trackers and communications equipment are among the priority items, according to the Chinese ambassador.
Beijing has recently been castigated by animal rights groups due to its purchase of two dozen young elephants from Zimbabwe.
Authorities in the African state said the transaction was needed to reduce the overpopulation of elephants. They also vowed to use the proceeds of the transaction to care for elephants in the country.
Local wildlife officials are having difficulties protecting the animals from illegal hunting due to limited resources. They are therefore depending on outside donations to augment their capabilities.
A month ago, the famous Zimbabwean lion Cecil was struck by an arrow from a poacher identified as Walter Palmer, an American dentist. Two of his local accomplices have been arrested by the authorities for the crime. Palmer's whereabouts is still unknown. It is believed that he is willing to reveal himself due to the world's attention to Cecil's death.
In 2014, dozens of elephants in the Hwange wildlife reserve died after their water source was laced with poison. The perpetrators are believed to have been after the animal's tusks.
Another favorite target of poachers are Rhinos, whose horns are believed to cure certain ailments. Meanwhile, elephants tusk are made of ivory and are mainly used for ornaments.
In honor of Cecil, plans are being made to erect a statue in the lion's image. Famous metal sculptor John Binda has been tapped for the project.
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