Harare - Game scouts in an exclusive private conservancy in south-eastern Zimbabwe have shot dead two suspected poachers, the state-run Chronicle newspaper reported on Thursday.
One of the dead is believed to be a South African national, the report said.
The two sneaked into the well-guarded Malilangwe Conservancy, near Chiredzi, early on Saturday. Malilangwe borders on the Gonarezhou National Park and is home to the big five.
"It is suspected that [the men] were targeting large animals," the paper said.
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They were shot when they opened fire on game scouts.
"The gun exchanges went on for some time until the two poachers were shot dead. Both died on the spot before their rifles were confiscated and handed over to the police," the paper added.
Zimbabwe is stepping up its fight against poachers in the face of increasing attacks on game. Two black rhinos were poisoned in an intensive protection zone in Chipinge in February. Three more were shot dead in February by poachers in the Save Valley Conservancy, which is about 80km from Chiredzi.
One of the dead has been named as Emmanuel Moyo, 28, of Gwanda in southern Zimbabwe.
Police say they will only release the name of the South African national when his next of kin have been informed.