Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Elephant slaughter in aftermath of coup in Central African Republic

Field reports indicate slaughter of elephants, conservation staff evacuated
April 2013. WWF and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have received alarming reports from their field operations that elephants are being slaughtered in the violence-ridden Central African Republic (CAR), where the new government struggles to gain control over the situation. The conservation organizations have issued a joint call for immediate action.

Michel Djotodia seized power in Central African Republic in March in a coup when he lead a rebel force that overthrew the government. 

Extensive elephant slaughter
Due to the violence and chaos in the area, the exact number of elephants slaughtered is not known, however initial reports indicate it may be extensive. WWF has confirmed information that forest elephants are being poached near the Dzanga-Sangha protected areas, a World Heritage Site. Elephant meat is reportedly being openly sold in local markets and available in nearby villages. The security situation is preventing park staff from searching the dense forest for elephant carcasses. 

The two organizations, WWF and WCS that have worked in CAR since the 1980s, are calling on the Central African Republic and its neighbours to immediately increase security in the region to protect the area's people and elephants. Governments are meeting next week at an extraordinary meeting to discuss ways to stop the poaching that has plagued the region. Up to 30,000 elephants are killed in Africa each year for their ivory tusks, which are in demand in Asia. 

The following statements have been issued by WWF and WCS: 

Jim Leape, WWF Director General said: "The elephant poaching crisis - driven by insatiable ivory demand - is so severe that no area is safe, not even the World Heritage Site Dzanga-Sangha where both WWF and WCS have now worked for the conservation of elephants for decades. Heroic rangers are standing firm in the face of immense danger, but they alone cannot safeguard the special species and places the world treasures. When meeting next week, Central African governments must urgently join forces against this criminal activity that is also threatening the stability and economic development of their countries. I encourage them in the strongest terms to take a stand against wildlife crime and together declare that poaching and illicit trafficking will not be tolerated." 

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails