This occurred shortly after 178 countries, including the US, rejected an agreement to protect elephants from ivory poaching. The demand for ivory is driven by Asia’s fast economic growth, lack of education, the Catholic church (yes), and corruption.
Poachers have killed 28 endangered forest elephants in the Nki and Lobeke national parks in southeast Cameroon in recent weeks, the conservation organization WWF said on Wednesday.
With demand for ivory rising from Asia, poachers have reduced the population of Africa’s forest elephants by 62 percent over the last decade, putting the species on track for extinction, conservationists say.
The parks of southeast Cameroon, along with parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, have some of the last significant populations of forest elephants.
"Elephants in these two protected areas in the Congo Basin are facing a threat to their existence," said Zacharie Nzooh, WWF Cameroon representative in the East Region.
Nzooh said that between February 10 and March 1, WWF found the carcasses of 23 elephants, stripped of their tusks, deep in the Nki national park. A further five were found without their tusks in the Lobeke national park, further to the east.
"The poachers used automatic weapons, such as AK-47s, reflecting the violent character of elephant poaching," he said, adding that park wardens lacked good weapons.
See also NatGeo’s blockbuster report exposing how the Catholic Church in the Philippines is responsible for a lot of ivory poaching.