POACHING BECOMES A GLOBAL CRISIS
By: Bliss Ndapasowa
Animal poaching has been defined as a global crisis that needs a global response.
This follows the escape of two elephant poaching suspects from Mecula police station in Mozambique on October 27th this year.
These suspects were awaiting prosecution under the new stricter law after being apprehended on September 22nd this year.
Their names had been linked with elephant poaching in Niassa National Reserve and Selous for several years. They are also said to have been moving freely across the Tanzanian border and were in possession of guns and ammunition upon arrest.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC) Chief Executive Officer and President Cristian Samper said that the escape was tremendously disappointing, but served to highlight the efforts being made.
“The Mozambican Government is increasing all its efforts in the field and in the courts to stop poaching. They are not alone as the United States and the United Kingdom are also joining forces,” he said.
Alastair Nelson, Director of WSC in Mozambique echoed this sentiment and cited that as co-managers on Niassa Reserve they will continue utilising joint operations to arrest poachers.
Elephant poaching in Mozambique is rife as the Niassa National Reserve is one of the largest remaining elephant populations in Africa.
A report presented at the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species held in March last year in Bangkok revealed that close to 25000 elephants had been killed in Africa in 2012, doubling since 2007.
Furthermore, the African Elephant Summit held in Botswana in December last year predicted that one fifth of elephants could be killed this decade if effective measures are not put in place to curb poaching, as the elephant populations across Africa have drastically been reduced.
With illegal ivory trade on the rise, Central and West African regions are said to be more susceptible to elephant extinction.