Media Statement Issued By: (ZNSPCA) Zimbabwe National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals
On Thursday 3rd November 2016, ZNSPCA inspectors impounded a shipment of 11 crated spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) whose intended destination was Hang Zhou Safari Park in The Peoples Republic of China. The shipment had originated in Hwange and was under the custody of a local Chinese businessman.
Upon initial examination, it was apparent that the shipping crates were substandard and did not conform to the IATA specifications as required under CITES. In addition, there were several irregularities with the accompanying paperwork rendering the shipment non-compliant in respect of any air transporter or animal regulating authority.
The animals were medically examined and showed visible signs of stress, dehydration and multiple wounds inflicted by the crates. One animal required sedation to resecure its crate.
Of the 11 hyena, one was a pup estimated to be approximately 6-8 months of age. As a result of its compromised condition, it required immediate care and a decision was made to place the young cub under the care of Wild Is Life animal sanctuary located near Harare Airport. All the animals were fed and rehydrated.
Due to the lack of appropriate housing facilities for hyena in Harare, it was deemed that the most appropriate course of action was to return the 10 remaining Hyena back to holding facilities located within the Hwange National Park.
A contingent of ZNSPCA Inspectors escorted the truck back to Hwange National Park, driving through the night. The following morning the 10 remaining hyena were released back into the Hwange National Park holding facilities.
ZNSPCA is gravely concerned as to the circumstances surrounding this shipment and the apparent irregularities. The welfare of these animals is of primary concern to the Society which has redeployed several Animal Welfare Inspectors to Hwange to monitor the hyena and ensure full compliance in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act.
We would like to express our gratitude to the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Authority who are assisting ZNSPCA in attending to this matter. Investigations are ongoing and further information will be made available in due course.