Quantcast

2 Elephants Killed in National Park Sparks Fear of More Poaching

The killing of two elephants in Zakouma National Park in Chad in August has many wildlife conservationists concerned. It's the first time an elephant has been killed by poachers in the park in more than three years. Poaching decimated the elephant population there in the early 2000s. Their numbers dropped from some 4,000 in 2006 to 450 today.

And the elephants are only just beginning to rebound. They went four years without a birth—a sure sign of herd stress, says National Geographicbut now elephants are finally having babies again. However, at least one, though likely two, of those newborns is already dead.

On Aug. 11, a pilot performing routine surveillance spotted two men and a herd of 30 elephants "massed in a defensive position," according to National Geographic. By the time ground patrols arrived on the scene, the men were gone, leaving behind two dead female elephants—one with her ivory tusks removed.

There were two calves (likely less than 2 months old) orphaned by the killing. Park staff were able to retrieve one and hand feed it, but "the trauma was too great and the baby died." The other was unable to be retrieved and is presumed dead as it was too young to live without its mother.

As the hunt for the poachers continues, Bryan Christy of National Geographic reminds us that "as long as foreign demand for ivory continues, no elephant population is safe, even populations as remote and well-protected as Zakouma's.”

Zakouma was hailed as a success story among African parks for cracking down on poachers through surveillance planes, but this incident raises concern that the park's small elephant population still isn't safe.

Wildlife poaching is a huge problem worldwide. The killing of Cecil the Lion last month sparked intense Internet outrage, but the problem is truly rampant. Louie Psihoyos, director of the film Racing Extinctionsays, "The wildlife trade is second only to the drug trade" in terms of the money it generates.

Many efforts are being undertaken to put a stop to the illegal trade, including commissioning fake elephant tusks and fitting them with GPS tracking devices, using drones to survey large areas and even using 3-D printers to manufacture fake rhino horns.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

What the World Would Look Like Without Humans

Thousands of Walruses Stranded Ashore in Alaska Once Again Due to Rapidly Melting Sea Ice

Ocean Plastic Will Be Found in 99 Percent of Seabirds by 2050

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pick one of these nine activism styles, and you can start making change. YES! Illustrations by Delphine Lee

By Cathy Brown

Most of us have heard about UN researchers warning that we need to make dramatic changes in the next 12 years to limit our risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty caused by climate change. Report after report about a bleak climate future can leave people in despair.

Read More Show Less
Jamie Grill Photography / Getty Images

Losing weight, improving heart health and decreasing your chances for metabolic diseases like diabetes may be as simple as cutting back on a handful of Oreos or saying no to a side of fries, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
A boy gives an impromptu speech about him not wanting to die in the next 10 years during the protest on July 15. The Scottish wing of the Extinction Rebellion environmental group of Scotland locked down Glasgow's Trongate for 12 hours in protest of climate change. Stewart Kirby / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

It's important to remember that one person can make a difference. From teenagers to world-renowned scientists, individuals are inspiring positive shifts around the world. Maybe you won't become a hard-core activist, but this list of people below can inspire simple ways to kickstart better habits. Here are seven people advocating for a better planet.

Read More Show Less
A group of wind turbines in a field in Banffshire, Northeast Scotland. Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Scotland produced enough power from wind turbines in the first half of 2019, that it could power Scotland twice over. Put another way, it's enough energy to power all of Scotland and most of Northern England, according to the BBC — an impressive step for the United Kingdom, which pledged to be carbon neutral in 30 years.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Beekeeper Jeff Anderson works with members of his family in this photo from 2014. He once employed all of his adult children but can no longer afford to do so. CHRIS JORDAN-BLOCH / EARTHJUSTICE

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

It's been a particularly terrible summer for bees. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is allowing the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor back on the market. And just a few weeks prior, the USDA announced it is suspending data collection for its annual honeybee survey, which tracks honeybee populations across the U.S., providing critical information to farmers and scientists.

Read More Show Less

tommaso79 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Rachel Licker

As a new mom, I've had to think about heat safety in many new ways since pregnant women and young children are among the most vulnerable to extreme heat.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to get confused about which foods are healthy and which aren't.

Read More Show Less