The poaching of elephants in Democratic Republic of Congo has “dramatically increased” since 2006, a group of researchers said. The findings were based on data gathered from 11 parks and reserves throughout Congo and compiled by a group of American and Canadian researchers affiliated with the TL2 conservation project in central Congo.
Most elephant deaths came at the hands of organized armed groups, the researchers said in a statement on March 16. Congo is recovering from more than a decade of war that left millions dead, and armed groups in the east of the country still use national reserves as hideouts.“The large scale commercial based poaching exploded in 2009, and is comparable to levels in the 1980s which led to a major decline of Congo’s elephants,” the researchers said.
Congo’s elephant population is now around 20,000, down from an estimated 100,000 a decade ago, the statement said.
The rare Congo forest Elephants
Ranger displaying confiscated ivory
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