The illegal killing of elephants in and around protected areas such as the Korup National Park in the South West Region and the Dja Reserve in the South Region seems to be on the increase and the government of Cameroon, with the support of the international community is in a renewed alert mode to track down the elephant traffickers and bring them to justice. The year 2009 ended with the arrest of three wildlife traffickers and an eco-guard of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Meyomessala in the Dja and Lobo Division of the South Region for killing an elephant.
The operation that led to the arrest of the 3 elephant traffickers was carried out by the officials of the Meyomessala Antenna of the Dja Bioshpere Reserve in collaboration with the Gendarmerie Brigade of Meyomessala. The local authorities of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife are establishing a case file against the offenders. Before this operation, the South West Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife had, in a similar operation arrested another wildlife trafficker for killing 7 elephants for the ivory trade at the Korup National Park. The trafficker is presently serving a 5-year jail term at the Buea prison for the crime.
Governments are taking serious measures against illegal trade in protected wildlife species. Debbie Banks of the Environmental Investigation Agency – EIA has observed that,’ “without these measures, the plunder will continue, threatening species with extinction, stealing from local and national economies and undermining global efforts towards sustainable development”.
Late last year three wildlife traffickers were arrested in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in possession of 40 kilogram’s of ivory. The traffickers had crossed the river from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the ivory.