Casablanca (ADV) – At least 90 elephants have been found dead, their methodically torn ivory defenses in recent weeks in Botswana, victims of one of the most deadly poaching waves recently recorded on the African continent.
This macabre count was made by the NGO Elephants without Borders, during an aerial census of the country’s pachyderm population conducted with the Botswana Ministry of Wildlife and National Parks.
“We started our census on July 10 and we have already counted 90 carcasses of elephants,” told AFP on Tuesday the head of the NGO, Mike Chase, “and we find every day more dead elephants” .
Most were killed by “heavy bullets,” according to Chase, near water points in the famous Okavango Delta Reserve in northern Botswana.
“This is the worst poaching episode in Africa I have ever been informed of,” said the wildlife defender.
Local Tourism Minister Tshekedi Khama confirmed the extent of the massacre. “I know the record is reaching a double-digit number, very high for Botswana,” he told AFP. “I am very concerned, very worried”.
As the boss of Elephants Without Borders was pleased to point out, these killings come a few weeks after the controversial decision of the Gaborone authorities to disarm his “rangers” specialized in anti-poaching.
Stuck between Zambia and South Africa, Botswana is home to Africa’s largest elephant population, estimated at 135,000 animals in 2015.
The richness of its fauna has made it a favorite sanctuary for high-end safari enthusiasts and one of the centers of development of its economy, which it protects thanks to an anti-poaching arsenal hitherto considered exemplary.
© Bur-csa – N.W – African Daily Voice (ADV)