An elephant bull is reported to have been shot by poachers in Kruger national park – the first reporting of elephant poaching in almost a decade.
Rangers who discovered the dead bull, which had had its tusks hacked off, said that it was the first time in a decade that poachers had targeted the native elephant in a decade.
“It is the first case of ivory poaching in the Kruger in over 10 years,” said spokesman Ike Phaahla.
The national park is believed to home some 16,700 wild elephants and is one of the largest game reserves on the African continent. Poachers, who previously targeted rhino species in the area, are believed to cross the border from neighbouring Mozambique.
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Measures have been introduced to fight illegal rhino poaching, including regular patrols by members of the South African army in an attempt to prevent horns crossing the border. It is estimated that 245 rhinos have been killed so far this year.
There has also been considerable amounts of money from various corners of the globe committed to helping fight illegal poaching. In March, the son of US billionaire Warren Buffett announced $24m to fund extra ranger teams equipped with cameras and sniffer dogs. More recently, actor Leonardo DiCaprio donated $1m to helping protect wild elephants.
The UK government also recently launched a £4m fund now open to social enterprises, government and businesses that plan to tackle illegal poaching. The UK’s commitment to eradicating poaching was confirmed by foreign secretary William Hague, who earlier this year described the fight as a “great moral cause”.
Image: Emma Websdale