Elephant poaching reported at Kruger national park in South Africa


Agence France-Presse

Date Published

South Africa’s Kruger national park, which is battling a high number of rhino killings, has recorded its first case of elephant poaching in more than a decade, a spokesman has said.

A dead bull elephant whose tusk had been hacked off was discovered by rangers on Thursday. “It is the first case of ivory poaching in the Kruger in over 10 years,” said spokesman Ike Phaahla.

The head of the South African national parks rangers, Johan Jooste, said it was likely the bull was shot on purpose for its tusks. He said rangers patrolling the area noticed footprints of about four individuals leaving the park leading towards Mozambique.

The park’s borders, shared with Mozambique, are patrolled by the South African army to help fight rhino poaching, as poachers often smuggle horns out of the country. Since the beginning of the year, 245 rhinos have been killed in the Kruger.

Ivory poaching is rife on the African continent but South Africa had yet to be affected. Neighbouring Zimbabwe and Mozambique have reported an increase in the number of cases, including some where someanimals were killed by cyanide poisoning.

Kruger park boasts an elephant population of 16,700, according to a count in 2012.