News24

Poachers 'decimating' Uganda elephants

2012-09-11 20:28

Kampala - Poachers are "decimating" Uganda's elephant population, fuelled by Asian demands for black market ivory, the authorities said Tuesday.

Eleven elephants have been killed so far this year, and the authorities have seized hundreds of kilograms of ivory from poachers and dealers, many of who are ferrying shipments to countries such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

"Poaching is on the increase and it is increasingly worrying," said Charles Tumwesigye, a government conservation official.

"Poachers are decimating the elephant population and we have to increase vigilance, including security, in the parks," he said.

"But we are determined to stamp it out," he said. "We are losing wildlife, mostly elephants, in both protected and unprotected areas."

Tumwesigye said that 25 elephants were killed by poachers in 2011.

Uganda's forests were home to about 30 000 elephants in the mid-1960s, but conservation efforts crumbled during the regime of dictator Idi Amin.

According to a recent elephant census, there are believed to be about 4 400 left today.

The government of President Yoweri Museveni has been struggling to restore the population of elephants and other huge mammals such as hippos.

But the authorities said the country has also become a transit route for illegal ivory from neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Airport security officials have seized 460kg of ivory so far this year. Many of the traffickers were Chinese, Tumwesigye said.

"Some of the ivory from the poachers and smugglers cannot be traced because it is moved through other routes [with] porous borders," he added.

Comments
  • ed.gutsche - 2012-09-12 09:23

    over 20000 killed in tanzania alone this year...of those, 12500 were killed in the masai mara and selous reserves...for each elephant and rhino dead, 10 chinese should die.

  • pages:
  • 1