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Killing Spree Slaughters 86 Elephants in Chad

Source: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Poachers in Chad have slaughtered 86 elephants, including 33 pregnant females, in less than a week.

The elephants were killed close to the Chad border with Cameroon and their ivory hacked out. It is the worst killing spree of elephants since early 2012 when poachers from Chad and Sudan killed as many as many as 650 elephants in a matter of weeks in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park.

“This is completely shocking,” said Celine Sissler-Bienvenu, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in France and Francophone Africa (IFAW – www.ifaw.org).

“Elephants in Central Africa continue to be under siege from unscrupulous poachers. The killing of 86 elephants, including pregnant cows, is evidence of the callous brutality demanded to feed the appetite of the ivory trade,” said Sissler-Bienvenu.

Information received by IFAW indicates that local communities close to Fianga city, in south-west Chad, where the elephants were killed have been asking their government for help in resolving local elephant conflict issues for at least two years.

No support has been provided, which may be why the elephant massacre was not reported for some days – the killing of the elephants by poachers offering some sort of relief to local farmers unable to protect their crops and livelihoods from being damaged by elephant herds.

Jason Bell, Director of IFAW’s Elephant Programme, said it was now almost inevitable that certain regions of Africa faced the total decimation of their elephant populations.

“The poaching of elephants for their ivory is an issue of global significance, and needs a global response if we are to turn the killing fields of Central Africa into safe havens for elephants. This cannot happen in a vacuum. Ivory consuming nations – notably China – have to make a concerted effort to reduce the demand for ivory in their own backyards. Otherwise, the battle to save elephants will be lost,” said Bell.

In early 2012, poachers from Sudan and Chad, riding on horseback and with camels to carry their booty, killed almost 650 elephants – about 50 per cent of the elephant population of Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park.

Poaching parties are typical during the dry season when heavily armed groups of poachers with military issue automatic and semi-automatic weapons, launch well co-ordinated attacks on elephant herds for their ivory.

In 2012 IFAW signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Chad to provide anti-poaching support to the Sena Oura National Park, including conducting training sessions for conservation officers. Sena Oura NP in Chad is part of a cross-border national park which has Bouba Ndjida National Park in Cameroon on the other side.

“Cross border cooperation and intelligence-led enforcement are the only way we can bring these ivory traffickers to justice. It is too big a problem for any one country to tackle,” said Kelvin Alie, Director of IFAW’s Wildlife Crime and Consumer Awareness Programme. “We need range states, transit countries, and destination countries to share their law enforcement resources, including intelligence, or we’ll never be in a position to shut down the kingpins of the international ivory trade.”

To find out more about the ivory trade read IFAW’s free online magazine IFAW – Unvelining the Ivory trade

IFAW ivory trade


Africa Geographic Editorial

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.

  • Tania Corral

    I wish the killers same destiny… so disgusting news, this must end!

  • Find them and stop them to kill our elephant.

  • Horrible. It is time people stop talking and start taking action! There is no reason the world should be this way! Man’s goal in life it seems is to exterminate every other species. These poor elephants were slaughtered for people’s greed for Ivory. It sickens me!

  • Darlington Mabasa

    than criticize the killers, lets spare a moment to look at the wider
    picture. Poverty resulting from social and economic exclusion drives
    these people to killing the animals. The developed countries thrived on
    our resources and now they cry when
    we kill these animals as a desperate measure to get out of poverty.
    Yes, this is not the sustainable way to betterment but the root causes
    ought to be addressed. Its just like denouncing the US’s drone attacks
    but forgetting the threat paused by terrorism. Trophy hunters are OK but
    indigenous hunters are bad for they are “POACHERS’. Oh pliz!! Call them
    “desperate survival hunters” wriggling out of western-induced poverty.
    Let us help raise the living standards of these people and show them how
    they can benefit from sustainable hunting. rather than unjustly
    condemning them. Save the animals and save the poor people

    • Lyn

      Unfortunately it is the same old story in Africa. Blame the Western world. NO blame yourselves !! Vote for a govt who supports the people that voted them in! That educates them to farm crops & to be able to sustain themselves & their families. Sorry but thats the truth !!

      • Darlington Mabasa

        Its not about voting who into power. Dismantling structures of poverty imbedded ib Africa goes beyond voting a responsible government. Poverty in Africa is a result of Western govts supporting corruprion for their own selfish ends. Zimbabwe waited for many years for Britain to honour its pledge to aid land reform, a move that would have lifted millions out of poverty but reneged on its promise. A prosperous Zimbabwe peasantry would not bother the elephants. The current socio-economic structures in Africa sustain Western capitalist structures hence the West’s unwillingness to help. Africa is in this situation because of the west. Any corript government in Africa which guarantees safety of western capitalism is acceptable. However, as soon as a new gvt for the upliftment of the poor is put in place, a barrage of attacks comes from the west whose interests are threatened. So allow us to dosmantle impetoalist structures in our midst before you tell us to stop killing the elephants. Moreover they are our natural resource. Uou guys in the west envy us for abundant wildlife after the deccimation of yours. Whst hypocricy when you realise that our custpmers for the horns are from Europe and your friends in the east. If you had the political authority in Africa, you guys in the West could be killing them elephants under the guise of culling. So you see, the West, wheyher you like it or not, is an accomplice if not the instigator and sustainer of the demice of the elephant heard. I will not accept hollow arguments which have been peddled by the west and its citizenry. I put my argument to rest for now.

        • Lyn

          Most replies to your strange way of thinking by putting blame on the “west & its citizenry”are from African citizens themselves including the writer. Most certainly not hollow arguments as you put it. Poaching of natural resources including wildlife happens all over the world, mainly done by the most despicable & cruel methods.Hopefully the elephants are not wiped out in Chad & Cameroon.

  • Stop killing

    African nations invite the Chinese in with open arms and they will continue to exploit the resources – land, minerals, rhinos, elephants etc

  • James

    Indigenous hunters are a level above poachers. Indigenous hunters only hunt what they can eat and they understand sustainability. Poachers of this brand shoot indiscrimanately for either ivory or tusks, where the meat is completely wasted. Worse than that, they slaughter protected animal species whose numbers are on the decline. The word “conscience” does not enter into their mindset, and they deserve a very harsh sentence for their callous brutality. Greed drives them and I dont buy the western exclusion escape route that you choose. Whether its poaching, or piracy or blatant theft, africans need to look at their own capabilities instead of ravaging. They should be bigger than that.

  • brandon

    darlington your a fool. this is not an issue of poverty. this is a issue of greed by killing innocent animals for profit. the people killing the elephants are not the most vulnerable in africa and dont need help. but they should be killed.

    if people in africa wanted more change to fight poverty, they could do more to protest the government and demand change. they dont……..

  • ND7

    Every species on this planet is doomed for extinction including US. Thanks to the human animal some may be doomed sooner rather than later…

  • River P

    Elephants versus man, its war out there. Its not very complicated, but its one or the other that must give way, bearing in mind its not possible to ask an elephant to compromise it’s man that must try. Having seen the destruction caused by elephants on often the poorest of the poor around the world which can mean life or death and having seen the brutal slaughter of elephants it’s nothing but tragedy all round. There is no love lost from subsistence farmers so Its not difficult for them to turn a blind eye or even feel relief in such a situation.

  • Carol Murray

    Absolutely disgusting that these people kill these gentle giants, they need stopped before they are extinct too!

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