Sources in Hwange told News24 that animal inspectors intercepted a shipment of 11 hyenas from Hwange National Park that were about to be exported to a safari park in China.
Officials from the ZNSPCA apparently stopped the hyenas leaving on board an Air Zimbabwe plane for Johannesburg because they were allegedly “not satisfied with the state of the animals the permits and the containers did not conform to the requirements under CITES and IATA,” the aviation trade body.
The hyenas are now back in Hwange National Park, where they were captured. They have not been released back into the wild though: they are currently being held in an enclosure there. Sources interviewed by News24 said that the hyenas were due to travel on from Johannesburg to the Middle East and then China. They were destined for Hangzhou Safari Park in Hangzhou city in eastern China.
In January Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri said that Zimbabwe would sell wild animals, including hyenas, elephants, lions and baboons to China “without hesitation”.