In a tragic case of mistaken identity, an Italian man and his son were shot dead by a ranger while they were on an anti-poaching patrol in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools national park on Sunday.
The man Claudio Chiarelli was described as a professional hunter who brought European tourists to Zimbabwe. Chiarelli reportedly lived in Zimbabwe since 1982 and his son, Massimiliano was born in the country.
“Claudio Chiarelli, who was an accomplished professional hunter who brought European tourists to Zimbabwe, was accidentally shot with his son and they both died,” Emmanuel Fundira, head of the Safari Operators Association said. Fundira also explained that it is normal for private individuals to assist the parks department and accompany the anti-poaching patrols.
A statement released by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife management Authority ensures that the killing of the two men was unintentional,
“Rangers who had since been on deployment pursuing the spoor of suspected poachers and were due for uplift came across a fresh fire-place in dense vegetation, which they suspected to have been used by poachers. The rangers continued following the spoor of the poachers, they later saw movement in the thicket, heard voices and opened fire accidentally shooting and killing on spot the pair.”
An Italian embassy official who requested to remain anonymous told the AFP that the details concerning the death of the Italian nationals are still quite obscure.
“We can confirm it happened yesterday at Mana Pools national park but we are not aware of the exact details,
“We are in contact with the family. It’s a tragedy. The loss of a father and a son, and also for Zimbabwe for the bad publicity it will generate.”
Elephants are one of the wildlife animals that tourists love to see when on a safari, however the massive poaching which has led to a 97% decline in the population of elephants in Africa has led to various countries banning the poaching of Elephants. The elephants are poached for their ivory tusks which are used for various things such as the creation of piano keys, billiards balls and so on.