Tactics of Elephant Poachers in Central Africa

The New York Times reported on the various tactics that elephant ivory poachers are deploying against park rangers in Central Africa.

Experts are reporting that the poachers are using former soldiers who are employing military tactics to kill rangers that come across their activities. In Kenya, six rangers were killed during 2012. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 people were killed during the summer of 2012 when poachers raided a wildlife reserve. In Mozambique, intelligence reports are stating that poachers are using land mines.

In addition to killing park rangers, the ivory traffickers are finding various ways to avoid the detection of rangers. In Zimbabwe, poachers are killing elephants for their ivory and then spreading poison onto the dead bodies. The poison is used to kill vultures so that park rangers are unable to know when elephants have been killed.

(More statistics about elephant poaching.)

Source:  Jeffery Gettleman, “Rangers in Isolated Central Africa Uncover Grim Cost of Protecting Wildlife,” New York Times, December 31, 2012.