Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2016 Contents B10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 5, 2016
Zimbabwe put its wild animals up for sale on
Tuesday, saying it needed buyers to step in and
save the beasts from a devastating drought.
Members of the public "with the capacity to acquire
and manage wildlife"---and enough land to hold the
animals---should get in touch to register an interest,
the state Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
There were no details on the animals on offer or
their cost, but the southern African country s ten
national parks are famed for their huge populations
of elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and buffalos.
A drought across the region has left more than
four million Zimbabweans needing aid and hit the
crops they rely on for food and export earnings, from
maize to tobacco.
It has also exacerbated an economic crisis in the
cash-strapped country that has largely been deserted
by foreign donors since 1999.
Selling the animals would give some of them a
new home and ease financial pressure on the parks
authority, which says it receives little government
funding and struggles to get by on what it earns
through hunting and tourism.
"In light of the drought...Parks and Wildlife Man-
agement Authority intends to destock its parks estates
through selling some of the wildlife," the authority
said in a statement.
It asked interested Zimbabweans to get in touch
and did not mention foreign buyers. Parks authority
spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo would not
say whether the animals could be exported or how
many it wanted to sell.
"We do not have a target. The number of animals
depends on the bids we receive," she said.
There was no immediate comment from the wildlife
groups that protested loudly last year when Zimbabwe
exported 60 elephants, half of them to China, where
the animals are prized for their tusks.
About 54,000 of Zimbabwe s 80,000 elephants
live in the western Hwange National Park, more than
four times the number it is supposed to hold, the
The drought is expected to worsen an already
critical water shortage in Hwange, which has no
rivers and relies on donors to buy fuel to pump out
The privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent news-
paper reported in February that Bubye Conservancy,
a private game park in southern Zimbabwe, could
be forced to kill 200 lions to reduce over-population.
Many hunters have stayed away, the paper quoted
Bubye general manager Blondie Leathem as saying,
since the furor over the killing of Cecil, a rare black-
maned lion, by a US dentist last year. (Reuters)
sells off wild
A young elephant throws sand at a dry drinking hole
in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. REUTERS
Hop on a fishing boat in
Toyama Bay, Japan, in the wee
hours of the morning and you
may feel as if you re in a space-
ship, navigating through the
That s because each year,
between March and June, mil-
lions of firefly squid transform
the water into a galactic land-
scape. Lucky for you, all you
need is a reservation to come
aboard, your eyes and perhaps
a really good camera.
The firefly squid may bring
to mind a lightning bug. But the
cephalopod is three inches long
and flies through the sea, not
the sky. And instead of a single
light on its belly, it has five
around each eye, three each on
the tips of two of its arms and
even more covering its body.
The firefly squid creates light
via a chemical reaction inside
its body, the same way a light-
ning bug does.
The process involves wran-
gling together the dynamic duo
of bioluminescence, two sub-
stances called luciferin and
Luciferin sits around waiting
for luciferase, an enzyme that
triggers luciferin to do what it
does best---make light.
Up close, each squid looks like
its own constellation of green
and blue stars.
Together, they form a bright
blue nebula of bioluminescence,
which is quite clear when the
squid emerge from 1,200 feet
during the spring to spawn. Fire-
fly squid only live for a year.
After making babies, they die.
Why the firefly squid glows
is not precisely known. Theories
range from attracting mates to
deterring predators, but aren t
totally convincing. (NYT)
Now's the time to see squid that glow like fireflies
Firefly squid in Japan. The best
time to see them is between
March and June. PHOTO:
VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC
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