Elephant and other species carcasses are located by routine patrols, or reported by local residents and visitors or sometimes logged from the air. Our small CWF team (accompanied by Forestry or Park rangers) are now authorized to recover ‘pick-up’ ivory (likely from natural deaths) on the ground within Forestry areas and Hwange Park– a welcome sign of trusted collaboration with FC and ZPWMA as seen in the photos below.
Obviously if the ivory remains with the carcass, it is likely the elephant was not poached. But the routine investigations performed by both our Field Co-ordinator, and Manager (who is a wildlife veterinarian and conservation biologist), also uncover useful and sometimes puzzling information, for example – why should there be two tusks obviously from two separate elephants, at the site of seemingly one carcass? Suspected diseases can also be investigated by this type of field work.
This and other detection work by CWF in finding much additional data eg presence of bullets, bullet casings, ages of elephants, predator involvement, likely causes of death and any other points of interest seen on carcass sites in the field greatly assist in giving both CWF and FC and ZPWMAan informative database of information surrounding all elephant and other carcasses found.
Due to budgetary and logistical restrictions to beyond their control, FC and ZPWMA are now very willing to collaborate with CWF and appreciative of our increasing assistance to them. All these findings can form a necessary database very relevant to our partner management authorities, and those outside of HNP eg both Government and private veterinary authorities.
Recovered Ivory is brought to the ZPWMA strongroom in HNP, where it recorded and sent by ZPWMA to their secure central store.