Some welcome news from the Republic of Congo – the notorious kingpin of an elephant poaching and ivory trafficking network, operating with impunity in a National Park in the north of the country for many years, has finally been arrested and will be prosecuted.
Once again, Hong Kong customs authorities have intercepted a large consignment of illegal ivory destined for ‘consumers’ in the Far East. On 30th April a shipping container labelled as containing 'spare parts' and originating from Burundi and bound for Singapore, was found to contain 113 pieces of tusks.
In the on-going battle against poaching in Central Africa, elephants have an ally in a small but committed force, working tirelessly to secure ivory seizures but perhaps more importantly, arrests and convictions of significant players in the ivory trafficking business.
This month, reports from Southern Chad indicate that 89 elephants were gunned down in a single night by a group of well-armed poachers, sparking fears that the 300 Sudanese horse-mounted rebels who annihilated Cameroon’s most significant savannah elephant population in Bouba Ndjida National Park in 2012 may have returned to the region in search of more ivory.