A recent incident has occurred where an elephant attacked and killed a poacher in Zimbabwe. According to the local Sunday Mail, the mangled body of Solomon Manjoro was discovered by park rangers within Charara National Park, Gache Gache, Kariba. Authorities presumed Manjoro was charged and trampled by an elephant after a failed poaching attempt.
“The poacher was recently trampled to death by an elephant after he failed to gun down the jumbo during a hunting expedition,” reported the Zimbabwe state-controlled paper.
Zimbabwe’s Sunday Mail reports a total of three men were involved in the poaching attempt, where 29-year-old Noluck Tafuruka and 52-year-old Godfrey Shonge were later arrested in the park. The two suspects appeared in court last week and have been charged with illegal possession of a firearm as well as of the contravention of local wildlife regulation.
Armed with unlicensed weapons, poachers Manjoro and Tafuruka stood before the elephant and fired at it. However, the animal refused to go down and attacked the men instead.
Although it is unclear how common elephant trampling is, TreeHugger notes that elephants may be purposefully striking back at the threat of poachers: “Perhaps as more of the animals have lost family members to poaching, they’ve grown more aggressive to those appearing to be a similar threat.”
|Fast Facts about Elephants:|
|Height of Adult Elephant||4 meters (male), 3.5 meters (female)|
|Weight of Adult Elephant||6000 kilograms (male), 4000 kilograms (female)|
|Weight of Single Tusk||25 – 45 kilograms (record 100kgs)|
|Maturity||15 – 20 years (male), 10 – 15 years (female)|
|Lifetime||Up to 65 years|
An international ban on the ivory trade was established in 1989, but poachers still strip elephants of their ivory tusks. The Wildlife Conservation Society estimates that some 25,000 African elephants are killed each year.
“The conservation gains made for African elephants, one of the most iconic African species, are being seriously jeopardized by poaching to fuel the demand for ivory,” Matthew Lewis an African species expert, told the World Wildlife Fund.
The ivory black market continues to grow as demands in Asian countries have increased. Countries like China use ivory for ornaments, jewelry and even ivory powder as medicine.
New York Times reports that China is driving the illegal ivory trade more than any other nation on Earth. A staggering figure, African elephant experts claim the species is slaughtered at its highest rate in two decades. In the black market, ivory is sold at $1,300 a pound.
In recent years, poaching of elephants and rhinos in wildlife reserves in Africa has spiked dramatically, fueled largely by demand for their prized tusks and horns. Meanwhile, both conservationists and wildlife officers have struggled to protect these animals from hunters, a daunting task given the vast areas to be protected and the stealthiness of poachers who often enter the parks under cover of darkness.
Date: 14 May 2013