Zimbabwe’s wildlife authority Director General has been suspended after more than 228kg of rhino horn went missing.

According to the management authority, the Director General was sent on compulsory leave to allow for investigations into the missing horns.

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Wildlife Authority Spokesperson said that the director will be on leave for the next two months.

“The move has been taken to allow for an audit. This follows anomalies in the rhino horn stockpiles amounting to 228kg,” she said in a statement.

Zimbabwe is lobbying to be allowed to sell its growing stockpile of rhino and elephant horn at the upcoming Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) conference scheduled for September.

The southern African country argues that the Cites trade ban on its ivory is affecting conservation efforts and promoting poaching.

The country keeps in storage 70t of ivory from elephants and horn from rhinos – worth at least $35-million (about R530-million) – and is seeking support from neighbouring countries for an end to the ban on trade.

Namibia is also bidding to open international ivory trade but Kenya is leading initiatives for a complete global ban.