Animal Issues – Despite efforts to stop poachers in Africa, officials are reporting that since mid-January alone, nearly 300 elephants, including free-roaming elephants in the Bouba Ndjida National Park, have been slaughtered for their ivory tusks.
According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Minister Ngole Philip Ngwese, armed gangs of Sudanese poachers are responsible for the nearly 100 elephant carcasses found in the park, and they are concerned for the orphaned calves that “may soon die of hunger and thirst.” Officials expect to find more remains as they travel into the unexplored regions of the park.
“It was common for armed gangs of poachers to cross from Sudan during the dry season to kill elephants for their ivory. But this latest massacre is massive and has no comparison to those of the preceding years,” Celine Sissler Bienvenu, IFAW official, told The Voice, a local newspaper.
Bienvenu added that the money from the sale of the ivory in Asian and European markets is used to fund “arms purchases for use in regional conflicts, particularly ongoing unrest in Sudan and in the Central African Republic.”
The population of elephants in the Cameroon area is estimated to be somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000, and officials are concerned that the recent high rate of deaths due to poachers is seriously threatening the already endangered numbers.
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