May 13, 2013
Score One For Pachyderms: Elephant Tramples Poacher To Death
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
According to a report by Zimbabwe's Sunday Mail, a poacher was trampled to death by the very elephant he was attempting to kill.The report said Magunje police found the remains of Solomon Manjoro fourteen days ago in Charara National Park, Gatshe-Gatshe, Kariba after a friend of his was arrested on allegations of possessing firearms illegally.
Manjoro was reportedly trampled by an elephant after he failed to shoot it during a hunting expedition. He, along with his 29-year-old friend Noluck Tafuruka, allegedly visited Charara National Park for the sole purpose of poaching between April 19 and 29.
Poachers kill elephants to collect ivory, which is sold on the black market and often smuggled into Asian countries to be used in ornaments and jewelry. Ivory sales were banned back in 1989 when poaching for the valuable substance halved the remaining number of African elephants in the 1980s.
Just recently, 26 elephants were massacred in the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the Central African Republic. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said 17 individuals armed with Kalashnikov rifles entered an area locally known as the "village of elephants" with the intention to kill the large animals. This area reportedly hosts between 50 and 200 elephants each day. The WWF said that since the poachers arrived, no elephants have been seen in the area.
“The brutal violence we are witnessing in Dzanga Bai threatens to destroy one of the world´s great natural treasures, and to jeopardize the future of the people who live there," said Jim Leape, WWF International Director General. "The Central African Republic must act immediately to secure this unique World Heritage site."
He said the international community needs to step up to help assist the Central African Republic to restore peace in the area and safeguard the elephant population.
“WWF also asks Cameroon and the Republic of Congo to assist the Central African Republic in preserving this World Heritage Site, which not only encompasses the Bai, but also includes large neighboring areas of these two countries," Leape said. “The events in Dzanga Bai are a vivid reminder of the existential threat faced by forest elephants in Central Africa. Populations of this species have plummeted 62 per cent over the past ten years."
A report by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) found that the elephant population in DRC has dropped by 37 percent in the last five years due to ivory poaching. The survey found that 75 percent of the reserve's elephant population has been killed in the last 15 years.