As a result of the guerrilla war many of Rhodesia's 20 game reserves have been closed because they are situated on the front line of the fighting, either on the border with Mozambique, or close to Zambia in the north.
GV PAN ACROSS River Zambesi FROM Zambia TO Rhodesia
CU Place where land mine exploded PAN TO rangers driving past
CU Skeletons of animals (3 shots)
LV Elephants climbing out of river
SV Ranger with gun PAN TO elephant
GV Buffalos in bush
GV Zebra in bush
GV Impala in bush
GV Buffalos in bush
GV Rangers walking through park with guns
GV Hippopotami in water
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As a result of the guerrilla war many of Rhodesia's 20 game reserves have been closed because they are situated on the front line of the fighting, either on the border with Mozambique, or close to Zambia in the north.
SYNOPSIS: Looking across the peaceful waters of the Zambesi river into Rhodesia from Zambia it is hard to imagine that in this vast area of thick bush there is a war in progress. Although sparsely populated by human beings it is rich in animal life and on the Manapools game reserve it is the wild creatures who have suffered most from the fighting.
Only about a dozen rangers patrol the reserve -- and finds like this are almost an every day occurrence for them now. Mostly the fatalities are caused by land mines -- a civet cat might follow its instincts and get blown to bits after attempting to dig up a freshly-laid mine. Or impala are fatally wounded while running across a minefield. Vultures descend onto the corpses and they in their turn set off additional mines nearby. Surprisingly the rangers say that elephants are less susceptible to mines -- they are wary of newly-turned earth, but even so some have died.
Manapools used to be Rhodesia's most popular reserve and the rangers hope that one day they will be able to open it up to visitors again. In the meantime the animals that aren't killed multiply and thrive in an even more natural way than before. There are no longer any tourists - just a few guerrillas and rangers. Instead of litter the odd mine and a fire now and then as the rangers roast their freshly-killed wart hog for breakfast.
Mostly the rangers move around in Land Rovers, but sometimes they are called upon to trust their hunting instincts to detect unusual occurrences. Despite precautions two rangers have lost limbs in mine explosions - which from time to time must be a shock to the hippos during their reveries in the mud.