The Lundazi Subordinate Court has sentenced a 44-year-old man to five years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of a Leopard skin.
Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer, Sakabilo Kalembwe confirmed the development in a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
Mr. Kalembwe said Derrick Nyirenda was charged with unlawful possession of the prescribed trophy contrary to section 130(2) (a) of the ZWA No. 14 of 2015, after he was arrested in September this year by officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW).
He said Zambia is among few countries that have viable populations of leopards which are being depleted at an alarming rate due to illegal poaching and trafficking.
Mr. Kalembwe further disclosed that according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN Red List, global leopard populations have declined by 50 percent over the past 20 years.
He said it is important that wildlife criminals are sternly punished for depriving future generations of Zambia from enjoying the cultural, environmental and economic development opportunities presented by wildlife.