Connect to share and comment

State of war protects Chad's last elephants

In an isolated wilderness in Chad, a war is being fought to save central Africa's decimated elephant herds from gangs of ivory poachers. The frontline is the southern Zakouma National Park: a 3,000-square-kilometre (1,900-square-mile) sanctuary that has lost 90 percent of its elephants in the last 10 years. Numbers plunged from 4,300 in 2002 to some 450 a decade later, thanks to a poaching bloodbath. The reserve now uses paramilitary-style tactics, with 60 guards who act like soldiers and a new 15-member rapid reaction force.

C.Africa elephant population down 62% in 10 years: NGOs

Poaching on an "industrial" scale has slashed the elephant population in the countries of central Africa by nearly two-thirds, a group of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) said on Friday. "A recent study shows that the population of forest elephants has dropped by almost two-thirds or 62 percent in the past 10 years, victims of large-scale ivory poaching," the group of eight NGOs said in a statement.

Mozambique's elephants under threat

Mozambique's elephant population risks being obliterated within a decade unless tight anti-poaching measures are introduced, conservationists have warned. The alarming scale of the poaching problem has become increasingly apparent, with an aerial survey of the north of the country in 2011 tallying 2,667 elephant carcasses in the vast Niassa reserve alone. Mozambique's pachyderms have seen little peace dividend since the nation's brutal civil war ended 20 years ago.

Endangered Sumatran elephant born in captivity

A baby Sumatran elephant peeps out timidly from between the legs of its mother at an Indonesian zoo, where its birth has given a boost to the critically endangered animal. Kartini, named after the country's most celebrated feminist, Raden Ajeng Kartini, was born on Friday under a captive breeding programme and is in good health. "Her birth is the result of conservation efforts at the zoo, and we're all happy to welcome her," Taman Safari zoo spokesman Yulius Suprihardo told AFP. The zoo said that she seemed happy, and was feeding from her mother every 30 minutes.

Kenya to toughen poaching sentences to save elephants

Kenya plans to bolster current lenient sentences for convicted wildlife poachers or ivory smugglers in a bid to stamp out a spike in elephant killings, the government said Saturday. "We intend to fight poachers at all levels to save our elephants," government spokesman Muthui Kariuki said in a statement. A major obstacle to this is that Kenyan courts are currently limited in their powers to jail or fine those convicted of wildlife crimes, he said. "One of the major setbacks are lenient penalties and sentencing for wildlife crime by the courts," he said.

Endangered Vietnam elephant 'skinned, disemboweled'

The skinned and mutilated corpse of one of Vietnam's dwindling population of endangered wild elephants has been discovered in a forest in central Quang Binh province, state media said Friday. The female elephant's skin, tail, tusks, ears and many internal organs had been removed, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said, quoting local forest rangers. It was not immediately clear why it was mutilated, but elephant ivory and other body parts are prized in Vietnam for decoration, as a talisman, and for use in traditional medicine.

Poachers massacre 89 elephants in Chad: WWF

A group of poachers last week massacred 89 elephants in one night near the town of Ganba in southern Chad, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement Tuesday. Some 50 Arabic-speaking poachers on horseback carried out the mass killing of the elephants, including 33 pregnant females and 15 calves last Thursday night, the WWF said, citing local officials. According to the organisation the Chadian army was sent to stop the poachers.

Ivory trade 'Gang of Eight' escape sanctions

Eight nations accused of failing to do enough to tackle the illegal trade in elephant ivory escaped sanctions at a major wildlife meeting on Thursday. The plight of Africa's elephants was one of the top issues at a more than a week of talks bringing together the 178 member nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok. The conference identified Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as transit countries Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and top markets China and Thailand as making insufficient efforts to curb the trade.

Seized ivory to undergo DNA tests to track trade

Countries making large seizures of illegal ivory will be required to conduct DNA tests to determine their origin under new anti-trafficking measures adopted on Wednesday. The agreement at a major wildlife conservation conference in Bangkok follows a surge in poaching of the African elephant to the worst levels since international ivory trade was banned in 1989. Conservationists say origin, transit and consumer countries are all struggling to tackle criminal gangs involved in the lucrative trade.

Speeding train kills elephant in eastern India

A speeding passenger train on Tuesday killed a fully-grown male elephant as it tried to cross a railway track cutting through a dense forest area in eastern India. The train rammed into the animal near the Buxa nature reserve in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district, some 675 kilometres (419 miles) north of state capital Kolkata. The elephant, which died on the spot from the impact of the collision, was pictured lying dead on its back with its trunk bearing injury marks but the tusks intact.
Syndicate content