Six elephants killed in one day by poachers in Ethiopia

Six elephants killed in one day by poachers in Ethiopia

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have killed at least six elephants in a single day in , wildlife officials said on Tuesday, the largest such slaughter in memory in the east African nation.

The elephants died last week, when they ventured out of the Mago National Park in the far south of Ethiopia to drink water, Ganabul Bulmi, the park’s chief warden, told reporters.

“The poachers then removed all the tusks from the elephants. It was a mass . We haven’t seen anything like this before,” he said.

Two other elephants might have been killed the same day, and an investigation continues.

“It also has proved difficult to apprehend the perpetrators because the locals who live in the area are armed and were not willing to engage officials,” Ganabul said.

According to wildlife officials, Ethiopia had more than 10,000 elephants in the 1970s but and habitat degradation have reduced the number to about 2,500 to 3,000 in recent years.

Daniel Pawlos, director for and control at the Wildlife Conservation Authority, a government entity, said it was not thought that there was organised poaching in Ethiopia.

“Last year we documented up to 10 elephant killings,” he said. “But whenever there’s demand, that triggers illegal poaching. What makes the latest poaching [incident] different is the high number of elephants killed within a day.”

Officials suspect that most elephant tusks and finished products are slipped out of the country to China and south-east Asian countries. In 2015, Ethiopian officials burned 6.1 tonnesof illegal elephant tusks, ivory trinkets, carvings and various forms of jewellery to discourage poaching and the .

Across Africa, the pandemic has provided opportunities for poachers, with security forces diverted to other tasks. Combined with the absence of visitors, this has left many reserves vulnerable.

The elephant population in Ethiopia has been threatened for some time due to “heightened and unavoidable human-elephant conflict”, Greta Iori, Ethiopia technical adviser for the Wildlife Conservation Society, told the Guardian last year.

A population of about 500 at the Babile Elephant Sanctuary, one of the country’s most important elephant ranges, could be decimated “in a blink of an eye” through poaching, with park staff struggling to secure the sanctuary, she said.

Nationwide, conservation efforts have been stymied in recent years by civil unrest and the political transition following the appointment of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister in 2018.

Around 400,000 elephants are estimated to live across Africa, but are under pressure everywhere. Government responses to the problem have varied.

In , where about 130,000 elephants live, hunting licences are being sold again after a five-year ban was lifted in 2019.

Botswanan officials say hunting is necessary to ease conflict between animals and humans, especially farmers, whose crops and infrastructure have been destroyed by elephants roaming outside their feeding zones.

Environmentalists are divided on the best means to manage the conflict, with some fearing licensed hunting could fuel demand and thus encourage even more illegal poaching.

Drought has also been a problem. In September and October more than 200 elephants died due to a lack of water at Zimbabwe’s main conservation zones in Mana Pools and Hwange National Park.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 2 June 2020.

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Thoses poachers need a punishment.

Irene Leggett
Irene Leggett

Perhaps its time to organize a major ‘cull’ on poachers an hunters. Lets mount their heads on the wall as a trophy, grind up their bones and teeth to make useless, pathetic trinkets cut out their body parts to make FAKE, BOGUS medicines and then use their skin to make wallets and handbags….OH, you can’t do that…WHY NOT, its what these vile, psychotic poachers and hunters do to any species that they hunt and murder.

Maryvonne Viallon

Ça continue !!! Ces braconniers ne pensent pas qu’ils détruisent leurs trésors…

Rhodna McMullins

They have got to saved. Kill the poachers!

Joan Faszczewski

Hang these poachers please.

Joyce Dixon Dannheim

Poach the poachers

Joanna Wiseberg

This has to stop! WTH is happening with governments?

Daniele Halle

Joanna Wiseberg they are greedy, money that what drives humans

Joanna Wiseberg

Daniele Halle it’s sickening. When will this ever stop?

Daniele Halle

Joanna Wiseberg as long as there is animals ……

Daniele Halle

Joanna Wiseberg I am so disgusted by the human race

Joanna Wiseberg

Daniele Halle I’m getting scared of opening my Facebook feed. Soon that horrendous dog meat festival in China.

Daniele Halle

Joanna Wiseberg me too,

Dianne Dulat

Absolutely disgusting.

Ann Wardle

We are facing the 6th mass extinction and this is why. What part of “endangered species“ is unclear? Zero tolerance!

Alan Fryett


Karen Lyons Kalmenson

ALL poachers should be poached into extinction