Eighty-six elephants were killed in the last week close to Fianga, an area in Chad nearby the Cameroon border; the latest devastating elephant massacre.
Wildlife officials said armed gangs killed the elephants, including 33 pregnant females, and their tusks were hacked out. First investigations reveal that the group of poachers was from Sudan, moving along the Chad -Cameroon border in the Mayo-Kebbi East Region.
Local animal welfare activists said that armed gangs kill the elephants because of the ivory to fuel sub regional rebellion groups such as Boko Haram. According to SOS ELEPHANTS OF CHAD, it is time for Cameroon, Chad and central African Republic to step up their efforts and fight the terrorists with appropriate trained soldiers and weapons.
Information received by IFAW indicates that local communities in Fianga have been asking for support from the Chadian Government to stop the destruction of their harvest by elephants each year.
No support has been provided, which may be why the elephant massacre was not reported for some days – the killing of the elephants by poachers offering some sort of relief to local farmers unable to protect their crops and livelihoods from being damaged by elephant herds.
The new elephant massacre in Fianga is the worst killing spree of elephants since early 2012, when poachers from Chad and Sudan killed as many as many as 650 elephants in a matter of weeks in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park.
Jason Bell, director of IFAW’s elephant programme, said it was now almost inevitable that certain regions of Africa faced the total decimation of their elephant populations.
“The poaching of elephants for their ivory is an issue of global significance, and needs a global response if we are to turn the killing fields of Central Africa into safe havens for elephants.
“This cannot happen in a vacuum. Ivory consuming nations – notably China – have to make a concerted effort to reduce the demand for ivory in their own backyards. Otherwise, the battle to save elephants will be lost,” said Bell.