The Government of Zimbabwe has issued an official statement regarding the shooting death of Professional hunter Claudio Chiarelli and his son Max. In their statement, posted on the official Government website, stated:
“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the Board Chairman Mr Tichafa Mundangepfupfu and Director General, Mr Edson Chidziya regret to announce the unfortunate and sad incident which caused the death of two males, Mr Claudio Chiarelli and Mr Max Chiarelli members of the Zambezi Society collaborating with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority on wildlife conservation.
Over the past two days gun shots were heard in the Mana Pools area which led to the pair to assist the Authority with anti-poaching deployments. On the fateful late Sunday afternoon, 13 March 2016, 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.
Unbeknown to them these were fresh deployments who had come to replace the rangers and had stopped to attend to a mechanical problem on their vehicle.
In the meantime investigations are underway.”
SCI will continue to update as more details become available.