Wildlife gets its own Big Brother flying eye

A brand new Airbus helicopter arrived this week for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to bolster local capacity to combat poaching. The new rotorwing aircraft which cost N$46 million will operate mostly in Etosha National Park but can be deployed rapidly to adjacent areas. At the handover held on Thursday, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta said there is an urgent need to conduct aerial patrols and surveillance to cover all parts of the national parks, concervancies and other areas of high wildlife concentration. Before the purchase of their own helicopter, the ministry had to rely on support from the Namibian Defence Force and the Namibian Police. Receiving the helicopter’s keys, are from the left, Dr Malan Lindeque, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Minister Shifeta, the Chief Operations Executive of Airbus Helicopters, Nicolas Pignol and Commissioner Flip Blaauw, the Head of the Namibian Police Air Wing. (Photograph by Musa Carter)

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