African Elephants Slaughtered in “Poaching Frenzy”

Jamie Beck, fine arts editor/ slideshow editor

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Around 87 elephants were recently found dead near the Okavango Delta Wildlife Sanctuary in Botswana, Africa, killed and stripped of their tusks.  Botswana is home to the largest elephant population in the world.  Just last May, Botswana disarmed its anti-poaching unit one month after President Mokgweetsi Masisi took office. The country previously had a shoot-to-kill policy against poachers.  This had been very successful in trying to make the country a safer territory for their animals until recently. Poachers went on a rampage, they slaughtered the elephants who were found skinned out of their tusks, which was used for ivory. Because the area was so big and wasn’t closed off with gates, it made it easier for the poachers to get to the elephants.

Africa is known for the last remaining sanctuary which holds about 130,000 elephants, including the ones found dead.“I’m shocked, I’m completely astounded,” Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders told the BBC. “The scale of elephant poaching is by far the largest I’ve seen or read about anywhere in Africa to date.

The Botswana government is denying the EWB’s claims, saying the 87 elephants were not poached in recent months or killed anywhere, they are calling the report “false and misleading.” The governments secretary, said the EWB told the government there were 53 elephants dead, which weren’t considered deaths from poaching. Their claims are that most of their deaths were from natural causes.

 

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