To my amazement Dr Gas Masunga whom was the resident chief warden in charge of Department Of Parks and Wildlife in Chobe during my 5 year tenure, as park Veterinarian and Honourary Game Warden, admitting there is a huge poaching problem in Chobe. I have been advocating solutions to this problem for over 3 years recommending the use of helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
Dr Masunga left the department a few months ago to work in the private sector. All DWNP staff I had worked with has been rotated out of Chobe and a whole new team is currently in place. This article was in January issue of the official magazine for Air Botswana Pelowane. I applaud his courage and hope this will not adversely affect his life.
The article on management changes,” to decrease decongestion of the park”, has been trying to be implemented for some years now. Only one third of what has quoted in article has been put into effect. It is my personal opinion that significant increase in parks entrance fees will adversely affect locals that will not be able to afford them and may out price Chobe for most tourists.
A helicopter for park surveillance has finally been seen in the last few months. Due to huge areas that are inaccessible by vehicle may now be patrolled. I wish them luck and success with this obvious addition to their arsenal which should have been introduced years ago.
Recent data due to aerial surveys indicate that there may be as much as a 30 % decrease in wildlife populations in this area.