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Top photo – Community members from Tsiquir, Nhandemba, and Nhanchururu in the Gorongosa District voluntarily handed over various hunting implements. Pictured from left is the community leader of Nhandemba, in the center is the Chief of GNP fiscalization, on the right is a community member handing over a hunting implement and finally the GNP Ranger who participated in the information gathering operation.Text and photos by Janado Nazare Cher

The Gorongosa National Park inspection sector, in collaboration with the District of Gorongosa government worked together to stop the local manufacturing of homemade weapons used for illegal hunting activities.

Ulombo Jacinto Verníz, 67 years old, born in Gorongosa and a resident in Nhandemba, stated during the process of his interrogation that he had been manufacturing hunting weapons since he was 20 years old and started in 1976. While he was in custody of the police authority, he admitted he sold weapons he built to local community members.

Owning hunting weapons is illegal in Mozambique. People found in possession of hunting instruments receive sentences ranging from 12 to 16 years in prison, which results in those convicted leaving their families in a precarious situation.

To prevent situations like this in the future, the Gorongosa Park inspection and community relations sectors worked with local leaders and encouraged local residents to voluntarily hand over any hunting instruments they had in their possession.

Since the initiative began, 60 homemade weapons – including eight animal traps and 22 steel cables – have been turned in as a result of the daily patrols carried out by the Rangers who are dedicated to protecting the flora and fauna of Gorongosa National Park.

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