OMUTHIYA – The helicopter reportedly seen flying low along the Namibian border with Botswana over the past days is that of the ministry of environment and not the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) as claimed on social media.
This was confirmed by chief warden Morgan Saisai, who said environment officials were using the aircraft to conduct wet season count and elephant colouring.
“I was also contacted by the Botswana side, who were also enquiring about the said helicopter, but I informed them that it was of the ministry that was doing wet season count and elephant colouring in the areas of Kwando, Linyanti, Lake Liambezi, Chobe and Zambezi basin area,” explained Saisai.
He added the activity has been ongoing for weeks and ended on Tuesday.
“So, I think the public might have misconstrued this,” he added.
Saisai said the ministry was doing the count, as it is considered migratory season of elephants as they move from low to high lands due to the looming rain.
“We do this around this time of the year, because elephants migrate from mud to sandy areas. Therefore, we have to collar them to monitor their movements, as they can be anywhere at anytime. This is also exacerbated by migrations from Botswana, Zambia and Angola,” he said.
These fears of the public about the helicopter comes after the recent killing of four family members who were gunned down by the BDF following a fishing expedition.
The victim were fishermen, and they were shot and killed by BDF on Thursday last week.