Cameroon Takes Firm Stand Against Elephant Poachers

Notorious elephant poaching twin brothers are standing trial this week charged with having killed more than 100 elephants, as well as injuring a forest ranger in the Tri-National Sangha Reserve. This reserve straddles Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, an area uplifted to World Heritage Site status in 2012, in recognition of its amazing wildlife diversity.

The first of the two brothers, Symphorien Sangha, has already been sentenced to 3 years in prison and a fine of U$43,000, the maximum penalty under Cameroonian wildlife law. Twin brother René will be sentenced later this week.

The handing down of the maximum sentence in Cameroon this week has added to recent signs that the judiciaries of central and west African states are beginning to take the issue of poaching seriously, in the wake of research that indicates that forest elephant populations have dropped by 62% over the course of the last decade.

Effective law enforcement and tough sentencing are vitally important deterrents in the fight to conserve Africa’s elephants and rhinos in particular.

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