The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
Elephant Killings in Chad’s Signature Park Cause Alarm. Zakouma National Park, two female elephants killed. http://t.co/WLOjk8KkoU
— Louisa Pearson (@louisa1000) September 1, 2015
And the elephants are only just beginning to rebound. They went four years without a birth—a sure sign of herd stress, says National Geographic—but 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 Extinction, says, "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
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.