In a relatively short period of time – between January and March of this year – well over 300 elephants were killed by poachers in one of Cameroon's national parks, in spite of continuous efforts to put an end to such practices and to the illegal ivory trade industry.
As the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) explains, these recent killings are just the tip of the iceberg, seeing how over the past few years thousands of elephants living in Africa have been tracked down and slaughtered by poachers in order to provide for the global illegal ivory market.
Apparently, most of the tusks taken after killing these animals are eventually sent to consumers in various regions of Asia.
Speaking on behalf of WWF-Cameroon, Director Basile Yopo draws attention to the fact that, “Today’s poaching gangs are sophisticated, global and vicious. They are invading our countries, not only slaughtering our wildlife but also killing rangers, and terrorizing communities.”
Thus, in spite of the fact that Cameroon's government agreed to send 60 new guards to the Bouba N'Djida National Park, where these 300 elephants were killed, and although 2,500 new game rangers will be recruited to help protect the country's biodiversity over the next five years, odds are that these measures might simply not be enough to discourage the poachers from going about their business.
Environmentalist Stefanie Conrad, also working with the WWF, claims that, “Conservation is no longer an issue for environmental institutions alone. People’s lives and jobs are at risk because of it."
Furthermore, "Each time an elephant is killed a country is losing economic value. WWF is calling on Central African governments to put an end to ivory poaching and wildlife crime. The time to act is now.”
From where we stand, the issue of elephant poaching in Central Africa is indeed something that needs be dealt with as soon as possible, otherwise this species will move from being endangered to being extinct.
In order to raise some awareness with respect to the need to implement stricter conservation projects in this part of the world, the WWF released a video reporting on said massacre that recently took place in Cameroon.
The footage is made available to you down below.