Poaching boom sees thousands of elephants killed in Gabon

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More than 11,000 elephants have been killed by ivory poachers in Gabon since 2004 according to new research.

The country is home to over half of Africa’s forest elephants who are highly valued because of the quality of their tusks.

Campaigners say the situation in what was believed to be a safe haven for these elephants is “out of control.”

They blame the ongoing high demand for jewellery and other ivory products in Asia.

Gabon holds about 13% of the forests of Central Africa but it is home to around 40,000 forest elephants, a smaller species that are attractive to poachers because their ivory is tinged with pink and is very hard.

The new research has been carried out by the Gabonese national parks agency (ANPN) alongside WWF and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Cross border poachers

Dr Fiona Maisels of the WCS explained that they had analysed the population of elephants in the Minkebe national park and compared it with their data gathered in the same area 9 years ago.

“Between 44-77% of the elephants have been killed,” she said. “In other words 11,100 elephants have been lost since 2004.”

Written By: Matt McGrath
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

15 COMMENTS

  1. There are few things on this planet that make me cry, but this is one of them.

    It also makes me so angry that people happily buy products made of ivory, either jewellery for aesthetic reasons, or some faith-based hocuspocus remedies, without considering that the animals pay for it with their lives. Are these customers just wilfully ignorant, or really callous?

  2. The more elephants that are killed the more valuable the remaining ones become and the greater the lengths poachers will go to get them too. I fear they’re doomed in the wild. How I wish that some wealthy philanthropist would purchase a chunk of their habitat and provide real security for them.

  3. There could be something about the human condition that limits how we see other places and activities that are not present to our immediate experience where we live. It’s as if we are detached from these far-away places in our busy modern caves. Add complex human activity like global travel, culture and customs (fuck customs) and international trade and you have the makings of disaster for the natural world. This story is only one example of the huge problems with our relationship in nature; we hammer nature faster than humans breed. It is hard to see how this relationship will return to the balance that evolved it in the first place; we will be left with zoos as the only sanctuary for countless species. Even now we are so lazy we film ‘wildlife’ nature shows that have radio-collared animals and vehicle tracks everywhere in the footage. How natural is that? We have seen the enemy, and it is us. How about rhino horns? Toenails for culture and for your dick, the same substance as the nails on you fingers and toes with no medicinal value whatsoever, yet worth more than gold. For an erection? I just want to scream… fuck ignorance and idiots that hide behind art or status or pathetic sex or any reason to reduce the natural world to a paperweight or a blow job.

  4. It’s so sad that we are so incapable of saving any of them.

    In my children’s lifetime (they are 7 & 3) we will see the end of the elephant, rhino, tiger, panda & polar bear (amongst others) but basically all the poster children will be gone.

    This planet will be a far duller place to live when they are finally no more.

  5. In reply to #5 by PY:

    There could be something about the human condition that limits how we see other places and activities that are not present to our immediate experience where we live.

    Can’t see how that is relevant here considering they have elephants in Asia which seems to be where the demand is.

  6. There just is no time to fix this. All the billions of ignorant Asian woo- believers would have to be educated; no use killing poachers as there are legions lined up to take their places- imagine yourself in poverty, told how much a tusk/horn/tiger penis is worth and being offered a gun and membership of the club. Who wouldn’t?

    Face it- we are a disgusting bunch

  7. Would it be possible to close down trade with those countries that import ivory ? Make them see that there is a penalty for allowing it ? Could the UN become involved ? I know, I know, blue sky. How about demonstrations outside the embassies of those countries ?

  8. But what about their culture? Why can’t you just respect their culture? You white imperialists are all the same, if you don’t agree with someone else’s cultural practices you just slap a sanction on them and get your Western organisations to wage a war!

  9. In reply to #5 by PY:

    How about rhino horns? Toenails for culture and for your dick, the same substance as the nails on you fingers and toes with no medicinal value whatsoever, yet worth more than gold. For an erection? I just want to scream… fuck ignorance and idiots that hide behind art or status or pathetic sex or any reason to reduce the natural world to a paperweight or a blow job.

    It’s actually a myth that rhinoceros horn is used as an aphrodisiac.

    Rhino Horn Use: Fact vs. Fiction

  10. Professor Lee White who heads Gabon’s national park system said that despite their best efforts, the situation is running out of control.

    “If we do not turn the situation around quickly, the future of the elephant in Africa is doomed,” he said. “These new results illustrate starkly just how dramatic the situation has become.”

    Elephants may yet have a chance. Nature seems to have found a way for them to fight back against extinction. Why Are Elephants Losing Their Tusks?

    Natural selection in action, surely?

  11. The trouble is that natural selection like instant gratification usually takes too long. Natural selection provides a little hope. Anything can happen but I wouldn’t count on it.

    The ruthless, senseless, idiotic slaughter combined with habitat destruction doesn’t look good for the elephants. That is deeply tragic and immoral and par-for-the-course on this planet.

    I really try not to hate us but sometimes, I just hate us.

  12. In reply to #12 by Virgin Mary:

    But what about their culture? Why can’t you just respect their culture? You white imperialists are all the same, if you don’t agree with someone else’s cultural practices you just slap a sanction on them and get your Western organisations to wage a war!

    Are you being sarcastic?

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