The fight against wildlife crime in Pendjari Park: A poacher arrested with two tusks of ivory and meat kg (Benin)


Matinal Cotonou, Benin

Date Published

Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for finding the article and doing the online translating.

Local Professional Hunters (Cpl) are determined to stop wildlife crime in Pendjari Park. Monday, August 31, 2015, they arrested a poacher in the heart of the reserve with two tusks of elephant ivory and several kilograms of meat from the same animal species.
The operation took place in the heart of Pendjari Park (Bondjagou forest). The poacher was arrested with two ivory tusks, meat from a lone bull elephant, and two corpses of hartebeest (large antelope). His rifle and three motorcycles were also confiscated. There were four in number during the arrest; three were able to escape.
The poacher in question is from the village of Korokoné in the borough of Kotiagou (Municipality of Tanguiéta). According to reports, it is the brain of a very active network of poachers in the nature reserves of northern Benin and enjoys external support for the massacres of wildlife.
It stocks arms and ammunition from Célestin T. who was also arrested later. In this case, Célestin T. offered a motorcycle to the poacher in exchange for the ivory of two elephants. Apparently this is not the first time he tried this kind of contract. Last July, two elephants had been killed in the same park by two poachers. They were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with about 7.6 million CFA francs in damages. Poachers have had plenty of time to safely boucaner meat in the Park.
Faced with the recurrence of these facts, it is urgent that the Beninese justice is more repressive to deter criminal networks involved. To recall, the defendants face a prison sentence ranging from six months to five years and/or a fine ranging from 50,000 to one million CFA francs under articles 153 and 154 of the Act concerning the wildlife in Benin. In this area, developed strategies and experiences accumulated by the program to support the implementation of laws on wildlife in Benin need to be valued. Also, a frank and dynamic collaboration is desired with the Ministry for the Environment, to be given a real chance to the sustainable management of natural resources in the parks.