Lusaka, October 16, 2019, ZANIS---Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary (PS) Amos Malupenga has refuted reports that 80 Black lechwe are missing in the Bangweulu Wetlands.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, the Permanent Secretary called upon Ms Nsama Learns, who raised alarm that the animals were captured from the Bangwelu Wetlands during the banned exercise to help the police and other investigative wings with facts on what she knows about the missing animals.

He said the truth of the matter is that, then Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda in March 2019, issued a captured permit for 50 Black Lechwes to Langani Game Ranch in Kazungulula and 30 Black Lechwe to Kwisoko Game Farm in Lusaka.

 

The Permanent Secretary said following the authorisation, the animals were captured and translocated to the two farms on September 10, 2019.

Mr Malupenga added that the Department of National Parks and Wildlife’s Research and Veterinary Unit had earlier carried out an ecological assessment at these establishments to ensure that they were habitable by the species.

He said right now, the animals are alive and hence the Ministry wishes to challenge Ms Learns to explain the 80 lechwe she alleges are missing.

Mr Malupenga said as far as the Ministry is concerned, the translocation is a normal activity and successful in the quest to restock depleted and under stocked wildlife areas.

However, Mr Malupenga reminded the public that Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela on October 2, 2019 indefinitely suspended the movement of animals from national parks to private game ranches.

The capture of the 80 black lechwe was done before the suspension.

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