|New poaching threat to SA elephants|
It’s only a matter of time before poachers turn their guns on South Africa’s large elephant population after they decimate thousands of the majestic animals in other parts of the continent.
This is the warning from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw), which has expressed concern that South Africa was “kind of losing focus” over the crisis facing Africa’s elephants as its attention was devoted to the scourge of rhino poaching.
“There’s no reason to think it won’t happen (in SA) although the poaching crisis might not have reached SA yet,” said Adrian Hiel, of Ifaw in the EU.
“But we believe it’s only a matter of time before these elephants are targeted for their ivory for markets in the Far East.
“You look at the vast majority of elephants – at least half of them are in Botswana and SA… the poachers are going after those elephants (that) are easier to get first in countries such as Cameroon, Chad and the Congo, which don’t have the resources to protect them. But as the elephant numbers are reduced in West and Central Africa, they are not the easy ticket any more. The next elephant populations to get will be in the Okavango and the Kruger National Park.”
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