Zimbabwe has commenced the relocation of more than 2,600 wild animals from the drought-hit southern parts to the northern parts of the country.
This is the second-largest relocation of wild animals in Zimbabwe since the 1950s when Kariba Dam was being constructed.
State-owned media reports that the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) gave the green light for the relocation of 2,640 animals from the Save Valley Conservancy to Tsapi, Chizarira and Matusadona national parks.
"Some of our parks are overpopulated and lack adequate food and water. We have issued permits for the transfers so that animals are moved to areas with water and food," Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo was quoted as saying.
"We issued the permits after doing thorough assessments and research. Our ecologist and zoologists, as well as others from South Africa, assisted us in carrying out assessments on security, availability of water and food before a decision was made to translocate the animals."
The animals to be relocated include 400 elephants, 2,000 impalas, 70 giraffes, 50 zebras, 50 buffaloes, 50 elands, 10 lions and 10 wild dogs.
Studies have shown that wildlife contributes more than $250 million annually to the country’s economy through safari hunting, game cropping, tourism and live animal sales.