At least 26 elephants massacred by C.African poachers

May 10, 2013
Elephants in the Addo Elephants Park near Port Elizabeth on February 9, 2013. Heavily armed poachers have killed at least 26 elephants in the Dzanga Bai reserve, a world heritage site in south-western Central African Republic, conservationist body WWF said.

Heavily armed poachers have killed at least 26 elephants in the Dzanga Bai reserve, a world heritage site in south-western Central African Republic, conservationist body WWF said Friday.

"At least 26 elephants were massacred in the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the Central African Republic, after 17 individuals armed with Kalashnikov rifles on Monday entered this unique elephant habitat," the WWF said in a statement.

The WWF described the Bai, a large clearing where between 50 and 200 forest elephants congregate every day to drink nutrients present in the sands, as an "elephant mortuary". Four of those killed were .

The presented themselves as part of the transition government made up of the former Seleka rebel coalition which seized power in a coup six weeks ago, the WWF said.

The new leaders have struggled to restore security in the unstable nation.

The WWF had already drawn attention to the presence of the poachers on Tuesday.

"The killing has started. The Central African Republic must act immediately to secure this unique ," Jim Leape, WWF international director general said in the statement.

"The brutal violence we are witnessing in Dzanga Bai threatens to destroy one of the world's great natural treasures, and to jeopardise the future of the people who live there."

The Central African region is regularly hit by poaching operations and in February 2012 at least 300 elephants were killed for their ivory in the Bouba NDjidda national park in northern Cameroon.

The WWF urged the international community, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo to help preserve the site, which also stretches into their countries.

Forest elephant species in have plummeted 62 percent over the past ten years. the WWF said.

Explore further: From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Poachers massacre 89 elephants in Chad

Mar 19, 2013

A group of poachers last week massacred 89 elephants in one night near the town of Ganba in southern Chad, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement Tuesday.

C.Africa elephant population down 62% in 10 years

Apr 26, 2013

Poaching on an "industrial" scale has slashed the elephant population in the countries of central Africa by nearly two-thirds, a group of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) said on Friday.

Recommended for you

Speckled beetle key to saving crops in Ethiopia

21 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —An invasive weed poses a serious and frightening threat to farming families in Ethiopia, but scientists from a Virginia Tech-led program have unleashed a new weapon in the fight against hunger: ...

New tool to assess noise impact on marine mammals

31 minutes ago

A new desktop tool which will allow offshore renewable energy developers to assess the likely impacts of their projects on marine mammal populations has been developed by scientists at the University of St ...

Of bees, mites, and viruses

18 hours ago

Honeybee colonies are dying at alarming rates worldwide. A variety of factors have been proposed to explain their decline, but the exact cause—and how bees can be saved—remains unclear. An article published on August ...

User comments : 0