A 2015 Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) report states that the number of elephants in Tanzania dropped from 109,000 in 2009 to about 43,330 today. Mozambique’s numbers went from 20,000 down to 10,200 in the same five-year period, and even though poaching has declined and numbers are increasing in Uganda’s national parks, the country is still a transit route for ivory from other countries.
Garamba has 120 rangers to cover 4,800 square miles. Two Garamba rangers were shot in a confrontation with poachers in October.
African Parks, a nonprofit organization now in charge of Garamba National Park’s rehabilitation, has increased patrols and upped aerial surveillance in an effort to stem poacher incursions from as far away as Chad. – Tony Karumba
Chronic insecurity, regional conflict, tough terrain and isolation make Africa’s Garamba park perhaps the most difficult place on the continent to practice conservation. — Tony Karumba
In Kenya, suspected ivory smuggling gang ringleader Feisal Mohammed Ali had been in jail since December 2014 after being arrested by Interpol agents in Dar as Salaam. “Ivory kingpin” Ali is charged with possession of and dealing in elephant tusks weighing more than two tons — equivalent to at least 114 slaughtered elephants and worth an estimated $4.5 million. — Tony Karumba
This was the largest bust of its kind in Thailand’s history. The tusks were hidden in bags containing dried beans originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo and were bound for Laos. — Chaiwat Subprasom
In a ceremony in Times Square last year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers destroyed over a ton of confiscated illegal ivory. Seeing these carved tusks and trinkets stacked sided by side, it’s not a stretch to imagine how the elephant population can be diminished so quickly.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has a website called 96 elephants, named for the number of elephants killed each day in Africa.
This post has been updated with the correct name of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which was misidentified previously.