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Zimbabwe, another 22 elephants poisoned with cyanide

Continua la strage di elefanti, sale a 62 il numero di pachidermi uccisi a ottobre nel parco nazionale di Hwange.

The number of elephants (Loxodonta africana) killed in one month in Zimbabwe, in the Hwange National Park (where also Cecil the lion was killed), rises to 62. The latest victims, cubs included, date back to only few days ago: they have been poisoned with cyanide injected in oranges.

 

epa04399439 A handout photograph dated 06 September 2014 and made available by WildAid on 13 September 2014 shows Hong Kong Legislative Councillor Elizabeth Quat (R) and a ranger from the Samburu Trust (L) standing by the carcass of a large dead bull elephant killed by poachers on 15 July 2014 to get at their ivory tusks, in Oldonyo Nyiro, northern Laikipia, Kenya. A recent report by Save The Elephants suggests that 100,000 elephants were killed for their tusks in the last three years to feed a surging demand for ivory products, largely in Asia. WildAid, Save The Elephants, Stop Ivory, African Wildlife Foundation and the Northern Rangelands Trust are all working with Hong Kong Legislator Elizabeth Quat to support her legislative efforts to bring about a domestic ivory trade ban in the ex-British colony, and to raise up levels of public awareness on the links between the illegal killing of elephants, terrorism, and the consumption of ivory products in Hong Kong and China.  EPA/ALEX HOFFORD/WILDAID /HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

 

“The rate at which we are losing animals to cyanide is alarming. Many other species are also dying from the cyanide used by poachers to target elephants,” said national park’s spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo. “We are appealing to people in communities close to national parks to cooperate with authorities.”

 

The Hwange National Park, boasting one of the continent’s highest elephant concentrations, risks losing one of its iconic species. In 2013, over 200 elephants have been poisoned for their ivory. Ivory illegal trade generates a global turnover of 23 billion dollars each year.

 

avorio confiscato all'aeroporto di Bangkok
Ivory seized at the airport of Bangkok

 

Last year, five poachers have been sentenced, with 4 to 14 years in jail, for having poisoned some pools of water in the reserve of Ngamo Safaris.

 

Earnings are high and sentences are probably not enough to curb the scourge of poaching, responsible for the killing of hundreds of elephants and rhinoceroses every year, which ivory is smuggled in Asian countries.

 

Twins
Female African rhinoceros with two cubs

 

Hwange National Park’s spokeswoman hopes that trained dogs coming from South Africa and the increasing number of drones could contribute to effectively protect wildlife.

Translated by

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