Government bags NS50 million from sale of Foot-and-mouth free Waterberg buffalo
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism bagged N$50 million from the sale of 200 buffalo to the Simalaha Community Conservancy located in Zambia. The deal was done through the Peace Parks Foundation which facilitates the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas.
Speaking to the Economist this week, spokesperson for the ministry, Romeo Muyunda said that the ministry sold the buffalo for N$250,000, per head.
According to a statement from Peace Parks Foundation, the highly quarantined buffalo were purchased from the Waterberg Plateau Park, which had to date exceeded its carrying capacity for the species.
The foundation said that on 23 August, the first 90 African buffalo were presented to the Conservancy, while an additional 110 buffalo will be transported to the conservancy over the next month.
In July, 120 buffalo were captured and spent 30-days in a quarantine facility in the country where they were tested and monitored for any signs of foot-and-mouth disease, the foundation added.
After this, the first 90 buffalo were certified disease-free animals and thus released into a 2 500 hectare fenced section within Simalaha’s wildlife sanctuary, with the remaining 30 to be brought in next week. Furthermore, an additional 80 buffalo will be captured and transported to Simalaha in September, the foundation added.
Peace Parks Foundation further stressed that providing foot-and-mouth disease free buffalo to Simalaha was crucial, as this member of Africa’s popular Big-5 will not only boost the tourism offering, but will also generate income through the sale of the offspring of the buffalo to other areas in Zambia.
The conservancy, which was established in 2012 forms a vital Zambian component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). It comprises of 180,000 hectare of communal land and lies within one of six key wildlife dispersal areas in KAZA, namely the Chobe Zambezi dispersal area that reaches from Chobe National Park in Botswana to Kafue National Park in Zambia.
Through the active reintroduction of wildlife that used to occur in the area, and with the addition of the buffalo, the sanctuary now boasts eight different species totaling more than 1 600 animals.
Caption: Game Capture Expert teams were used to safely capture and transport the buffalo from Namibia to Zambia.