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Wildlife Watch: Elephant Poaching Rises in East Africa

  • Sunday, December 1, 1996

Wildlife Authorities from Kenya and Tanzania have arrested a man in connection with the recent slaughter of several elephants from Kenya's Amboseli area.

According to reports from Kenya, the suspect allegedly had a 458 rifle in his possession and has been charged with killing at least 10 elephants, a number that tallies with those found dead or missing in recent months. Poaching occurred on both sides of the Kenya-Tanzania border, in an area frequently used by the elephants.

In related news, 4,600 kilograms of fresh ivory were confiscated in Tanzania in recent weeks. According to conservation experts in Africa, the ivory could have been taken from as many as 1,000 elephants. The Wildlife Department is checking into reports of increased poaching recently in areas of southern Tanzania.

In the Congo, park authorities are cracking down on ivory trade after the remains of about 200 elephants were discovered at a popular watering hole in the National Park of Odzala last August. The animals, many of them pregnant females or newborns, had been shot and their tusks removed. Authorities to date have recovered 36 tusks.

Despite frequent poaching at the site, observers say the recent slaughter was the most extensive in the Congo's history.

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