Some 30 elephants have been killed in just two weeks in the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raising the total to 68 in the country in the past two months.
“We have a group of north Sudanese coming inside the park, spreading in small groups and during 15 days they killed 30 elephants,” African Parks conservation director Jean Marc Froment said, who added that these people are highly experienced hunters.
The 13,000 sq km park is home to 1,700 elephants and has only 150 rangers to protect them.
According to Bloody Ivory, a total of 103,821 elephants have been killed since January 2012. It is estimated up to 685,000 African elephants now remain, from 1.3 million in 1979.
The crazy demand has made the price of ivory reach $2,100 US dollars/kg in China last year, from just $5 in 1989.
“As one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities, valued at US$19-billion annually, illegal wildlife trade ranks among damaging and dangerous global crimes such as trafficking in drugs, people, oil and counterfeiting,” said Jason Bell, Director of the IFAW Elephant Programme..