Sunday, February 19, 2012

200 Elephants Slaughtered in Cameroon

A mother elephant and her calf

Cameroon has recently witnessed a horrific massacre of 200 elephants by poachers in the past five weeks, according to activists. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) warned that money being made from selling elephant tusks is adding a great deal of misery throughout the continent. The killings left many orphaned elephant calves, which have been spotted in Cameroon's Bouba Ndjida National Park. Their presence raised concerns among activists, fearing that they may die of hunger and thirst. While it is not known how many elephants remain in West Africa, the latest figures by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated that there were 1,000 to 5,000 in 2007. Activists stated that the fund blamed poachers from Sudan, who were said to cross through Chad to reach the remote northern wildlife reserve. They further added that ongoing shooting is making it impossible to carry out a detailed assessment. And although armed insurgents conducted poaching raids for years, the scale of this year's killings were called "massive and unprecedented." The incident led to American, British, European, and French embassies calling the nation's government to take urgent action to stop the slaughter.

The incident highlights one of the main reasons poaching should be dealt with in Africa. Poachers will use whatever force they can to conduct their illicit business, even if it means carrying out a massacre. Because of this, it is crucial the society should get involved in helping the authorities to put an end to this ongoing slaughter. While reaching out to the community and educating people about the dangers of poaching is one step, it would also be useful for the citizens to report any suspicious activities. This could lead to authorities getting a tip on what might appear to be a poaching activity. Just as people around the world generally report such activities concerning their own safety or their property's, people living near any wilderness areas should also do the same thing regarding the wildlife. This especially goes to people not just in Cameroon, but in other parts of Africa.

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