Elephant massacre in the Congo

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A key Congo wildlife reserve has lost 75 percent of its elephants in just 15 years due to to meet Asian demand for ivory, reports a new survey by the (WCS) and Democratic authorities.

Researchers with WCS and DRC’s Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) found that the carnage in the Okapi Faunal Reserve has worsened in recent years, with its population of forest elephants declining 37 percent since 2007. Only 1,700 elephants now survive in the park. But the news gets worse, according to WCS.

WCS conservationists fear the worst for forest elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a new survey shows their numbers in the Okapi Faunal Reserve have taken a dramatic plunge. Ivory poaching is to blame. Photo: © Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society

Guards from the Okapi Faunal Reserve with confiscated ivory from . Credit: Project

A lone forest crosses the Epulu River. Credit: Joel Masselink

The findings come shortly after another survey documented the wholesale of elephants in Gabon’s Minkebe National Park over a ten-year period and on the heels of a nearly continuous stream of reports of elephant poaching across Africa. A National Geographic cover story on the ivory trade estimated that some 36,000 elephants were killed, but some conservationists put the number at over 50,000.

Elephants are being killed to meet rising demand for their ivory tusks. Most of the demand comes from Asia, especially China, but to a lesser extent Vietnam, the , and Thailand.

“The global poaching crisis for elephants is at epidemic proportions,” said WCS Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science John Robinson. “The world must come together to recognize this problem and to stop the killing, trafficking, and demand, or we will lose elephants in the wild in our lifetime.”

Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0228-congo-elephant-massacre.html

Supertrooper

Supertrooper

Founder and Executive Editor

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Ronda Green

How good is the reporting in countries like China nowadays? Is enough information getting through to people who may not realise where their ivory is coming from (many people in all societies lack imagination)? I know there will be many people who simply won’t care, and severe penalty is then the only thing that works, but I’m still hoping there are others we can reach, and who can shame their friends into not buying. It used to be fashionable in our society to wear fur coats from a number of animals but now women feel too ashamed to do so.… Read more »

Ronda Green

How good is the reporting in countries like China nowadays? Is enough information getting through to people who may not realise where their ivory is coming from (many people in all societies lack imagination)? I know there will be many people who simply won't care, and severe penalty is then the only thing that works, but I'm still hoping there are others we can reach, and who can shame their friends into not buying. It used to be fashionable in our society to wear fur coats from a number of animals but now women feel too ashamed to do so.… Read more »

Alfred Twinomujuni

Peace, poverty and all sorts.

Alfred Twinomujuni

Along way to go to stop this.

Alfred Twinomujuni

Peace, poverty and all sorts.

Alfred Twinomujuni

Along way to go to stop this.

Jane McConnell
Jane McConnell

all ivory has to be stopped. My personal belief is we need to outlaw any possession of ivory with all ivory to be handed over then possession of ivory become illegal and punishable by death. Anyone who buys ivory in this day and age is beyond reproach and education.

Judith Cavey

The demand and craze for ivory by the Far East has got to stop, otherwise there will be no elephants left in the wild. The suffering and cruel deaths of so many elephants is tragic.

Linda Murphy Brandt

This is so sad.

Gwen Voroney
Gwen Voroney

Unbelievable!

Judith Cavey

The demand and craze for ivory by the Far East has got to stop, otherwise there will be no elephants left in the wild. The suffering and cruel deaths of so many elephants is tragic.

Judith Cavey

:'(

Linda Murphy Brandt

This is so sad.

Ronda Green

I heard recently that a large part of the demand comes not so much from Asia itself, but from Chinese families living in USA and other Western countries. It would be useful to know how true this is so as to know where and how best to aim campaigns explaining the effect the demand is having on the animal populations.

Ronda Green

I heard recently that a large part of the demand comes not so much from Asia itself, but from Chinese families living in USA and other Western countries. It would be useful to know how true this is so as to know where and how best to aim campaigns explaining the effect the demand is having on the animal populations.