Wildlife Champion: Poacher to Leader | WWF Zambia

Wildlife Champion: Poacher to Leader

Posted on
05 March 2019
As an essential life skill, during his youthful years, his father taught him how to use the short gun among many others tools they had access to. By the age of 19, he got married and was actively engaged in poaching. “I began poaching in 1968 and that was my way of life for more than 15 years,” said Induna Sipangule, who mainly hunted meat for local consumption and trade.

His main target animals included Tsesebe, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Roan and occasionally Eland. “I used to hunt the animals with a greener shot gun”. He was arrested on several occasions and spent nights in police custody, but this did not stop him from poaching due to lack of an income generating venture and the absence of stiff laws at the time.

Attributing to what lead to his transformation, Induna Sipangule praised government and the private sector for putting in place efforts to protect wildlife by employing community scouts and having various conservation sensitization activities.

After several arrests, Induna Sipangule eventually grew tired of being behind bars. Although he stopped practicing poaching, he continued supporting other members of his community who were involved in the activity.

His turning point occurred after he was invited to attend a stakeholder meeting in Livingstone where various tourists travelled to see elephants among many wildlife species.  Induna Sipangule was amazed to see the co-existence of small antelopes such as impalas come closer to people. It was at this point that he realized that he had been handling wildlife in the worst possible way without appreciating or benefiting from its value.

The Induna returned to his village with knowledge about wildlife and has since been in complete support of the works been done by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, WWF and various conservation related organizations of Silowana Complex.