Elephant Poaching Madness
New research claims that ivory poachers have killed thousands of elephants in Gabon.
Over half of Africa’s forest elephants live in this country and the quality of their tusks is what makes these animals so highly valued. The situation is said to be ‘out of control’ as elephant poaching across Africa has reached its highest level in 20 years. One of the possible reasons for this could be the ongoing high demand for jewellery and other ivory products in Asia.
Forest elephants inhabiting Gabon are especially attractive to poachers because of their hard ivory tinged with pink. Gabon is home to around 40,000 forest elephants.
The research has been carried out by the Gabonese national parks agency (ANPN) alongside WWF and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
According to Dr Fiona Maisels of the WCS 11,100 elephants have been killed since 2004, which constitutes around 44-77% of elephants.
Poachers work even across borders. Gangs from neighbouring Cameroon have carried out much of the poaching. The ivory was carried across the northern border by porters.
The poaching continues despite the government’s actions, which leads many to question the long term survival of elephants in Africa.