LIBREVILLE: More than half of Gabon’s elephant population has been killed by poachers since 2004 despite ramped up security measures to try to stop the slaughter, wildlife officials said today.
‘More than 11,000 elephants have been killed since 2004,’ Fiona Maisels of the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement.
Gabon, on the west coast of central Africa, is estimated to host over half of the continent’s 40,000 forest elephants but the animals have long been targeted by poachers for their ivory.
Maisels said illegal hunting had slashed Africa’s forest elephant population by two thirds since 2004.
The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicine.