Without determined efforts to control and regulate the trade in thousands of endangered or vulnerable species, some of these creatures could be wiped out in no time at all.

Harare - A consortium of wildlife ranchers says tens of thousands of animals face annihilation in a wave of land takeovers in southeast Zimbabwe by politicians of President Robert Mugabe's party.

The Save Valley Conservancy said on Sunday that thousands of people's livelihoods also are threatened in in the 1,000 square mile (2,600 square kilometre) nature preserve and surrounding districts after hunting permits and land were granted to 25 leaders of the Zanu-PF party in a black empowerment program.

In Sunday newspaper advertisements, the consortium said “greedy individuals” - including a provincial governor and a Mugabe Cabinet minister - had used colour as “a racial tool” to collapse world-renowned wildlife conservation for short-term gain.

The group said that when humans behave like animals, people destroy not only each other but generations to come. - Sapa-AP