In a protected Botswana sanctuary, the bodies of 87 elephants, stripped of their tusks have been killed these past few weeks. According to the conservation group, Elephants Without Borders, five rare white rhinos were poached and killed in the same area.
“People did warn us of an impending poaching problem and we thought we were prepared for it,” stated Mike Chase, a spokesperson for the nonprofit organization.
According to the BBC, Botswana is home to the largest elephant population in the world, however the population has declined by 30 percent in the last decade because of poaching. Most of the elephants live in legally protected areas. The dead animals were discovered near the Okavango Delta wildlife area – a popular tourist destination for viewing elephants and other endangered wildlife.
Tragically, the increase in poaching has occurred just one month after President Mokgweetsi Masisi took office in Botswana and disarmed the poaching units in May.
“… the government has decided to withdraw military weapons and equipment from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.”
No explanation was ever given in an area where a shoot to kill policy against poachers prevailed. Now it’s become open season for poachers where the world’s largest elephant population still live, according to Dr. Chase.
(Photos via screenshots Elephants Without Borders and BBC News)
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