Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for volunteering her time to find these French articles and doing the online translating.
Libreville, Gabon (Gabonactu.com) – Research Brigade of the town of Tchibanga, a town south of Gabon in the province of Nyanga, recently proceeded to arrest four suspected poachers of elephants, reports the government daily, The Union.
Introduced in the Office of Public Prosecutor of the locality, the challengers were put in custody. The defendants are accused of “having carried out the slaughter of an elephant” in the vast savannah villages adjacent to the grouping Mivemba, a village located a few km from Tchibanga Mayumba on the road. After shooting this fully protected animal, the suspected poachers had taken the ivory tusks.
According to the source, these individuals were hunters who afterward visited Ndendé, a neighboring city located 85 km away in the province of Ngounié, to try and sell the loot. This is a leak that got the police on the scent. The operation was a success thanks to the coordination of research Brigade officers at two localities. Two 458 rifles used in the elephant slaughter were seized along with the sampled ivory tusks.
Suspected poachers were part of a large network that has operated shabbily for years in this savannah region, which has been densely populated by pachyderms for many years. Between 2004 and 2012, Gabon had a population of 11,000 African forest elephants. This loss is more pronounced in the Minkébé National Park located north of the country. Gabon hosts more than half of African forest elephants, estimated between 40,000 and 60,000 individuals. Once stable,
the country is now the target of poachers’ networks from neighboring countries and beyond.
Border crime of wildlife is practiced by heavily armed gangs in search of ivory tusks, a product popular in Asian countries. There, one kg of ivory tusk costs about $2,000, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an organization fighting against this growing phenomenon.