Some elephants learning to avoid dangerous areas - Expert

2016-09-26 20:30
An elephant is pictured at the Tsavo east national park approximately 337km southeast from the capital Nairobi. (FIle, Tony Karumba, AFP)

An elephant is pictured at the Tsavo east national park approximately 337km southeast from the capital Nairobi. (FIle, Tony Karumba, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi — Some African elephant herds are adapting to the danger of poaching by moving out of risky areas, according to one conservation group.

The plight of elephants is a key issue at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, which began over the weekend and ends October 5.

Radio tracking data of elephants since 1998 in northern Kenya show how "exquisitely sensitive to risk they are," said Frank Pope, operations manager of Save the Elephants.

Africa had 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s but has only 500 000 today, according to wildlife experts.

In northern Kenya's Shaba reserve, "you can almost pick out the borders of the reserve by where the elephants go," Pope said. "There is no fence, there is no cutting, there is nothing to visually mark it, but the elephants know, 'I am safe here, I'm not safe here'".

Pope said "there is every reason to believe that elephants are voting with their feet and moving from unsafe areas to safe areas".

Save the Elephants also works in Virunga National Park in eastern Congo, which is home to multiple armed groups competing for control of the region's vast mineral resources. Some have been accused of killing elephants for their tusks. Elephants there stick closely to ranger's posts, Pope said.

The elephant populations worst hit by poaching are in Tanzania, Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Republic of Congo and Congo.

Kenya has said it will push for the total ban on the trade in ivory at the CITES meeting. It says the temporary lifting of the ban in 2007 to allow some countries to offload their stockpiles fuelled the resurgence of killing elephants to sell their tusks, primarily to China and southeast Asian countries.

Read more on:    kenya  |  poaching  |  east africa  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.