Killing Spree Slaughters 86 Elephants in Chad

Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:01pm EDT

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Marketwire

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

March 18, 2013 - 03:01:29 PM

Killing Spree Slaughters 86 Elephants in Chad

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2013) - 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.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in distress all over the world. With
projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to
animals in need, works to prevent animal cruelty, and advocates protecting
wildlife and their habitats. For more information, visit our website:
www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: 
Michelle Cliffe
IFAW Canada
647 986 4329
mcliffe@ifaw.org
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