Photo Credit: Elephant Without Borders Mention the word refugees, and the image that comes to mind is that of humans that have been forced to leave their countries due to war, persecution or natural disaster. Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, is facing a different kind of refugee crisis – one caused by theRead More
Tanzania's elephant population has plummeted by more than 60 percent during the past five years, the country's government announced this month.
Elephants in this East African country—a major, if not the world's biggest source of illegal ivory—were estimated to number only 43,330 at the end of 2014, down from 109,051 in 2009.
Tanzania's Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, says the drastic decline might be because elephants had migrated into neighboring countries. The ministry, he said recently, is trying "to find out what happened to these elephants."
Police in China's Sichuan province have seized more than two tons of animal parts and whole carcasses, in a large-scale wildlife poaching arrest in the city of Mianyang.
According to the Huaxi City Daily, the seizure is the culmination of a six-month investigation and was 2016's largest wildlife parts arrest.
In total, 193 animal carcasses or parts were seized, from a wide variety of animals. Included were 9 bear heads, 11 bear claws, 42 owl bodies, eagle bodies, 3 crocodile parts and a collection of pangolin scales.
“Are these people killing our animals to deliberately drive them to extinction?” he wanted to know. “We are not only protecting rhino and elephants, but all animals that are protected under law. We are here to protect all wildlife to save them from perishing, for future generations.”
African elephants are crossing borders to escape lawlessness and fighting. They seem to be heading to Botswana, Gabon, Namibia and Uganda. These countries are bucking the trend of elephant declines elsewhere, due in part to their political stability, relatively sparse populations and low levels of government corruption.
With about 100 elephants slaughtered for ivory every day in Africa, they could disappear within decades across much of their range.
Three suspected poachers were gunned down at Aberdares National Park after a fierce exchange of fire with KWS rangers on Sunday night. An AK-47 rifle, two rounds of ammunition, a spear, an axe and a weighing machine were recovered from the suspects. Paul Udoto, Kenya Wildlife Service communications manager, said the agency has intensified patrols and intelligence information gathering within the Aberdare ecosystem.
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