Wadhams N. (2008, May 50). 17 Elephants Butchered for Ivory in African Park. National Geographic [online]. Available http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080505-elephants-ivory.html [2009, March 20]
elephant ; elephant poaching ; ivory ; ivory trade ; ivory demand ; ivory liberaization ; china ; chinese trade ; congo ; virunga national park
Poachers from an array of factions have killed 17 elephants in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since mid-April, conservationists announced.
The killings of the first 14 animals were announced early last week, and an additional 3 were found Friday.
The rare animals were slaughtered in Virunga National Park, most likely to feed Asia's demand for ivory.
(Warning: The enlarged version of the picture at left contains graphic imagery.)
Virunga's ecosystem has come under increasing pressure from a bevy of military groups looking to exploit the natural resources in its jungles to fund their operations.
The Nairobi-based charity WildlifeDirect, which publicized the latest killings, said Rwandan and Mai Mai rebels, Congolese army forces, and even local villagers were all to blame.
(WildlifeDirect receives some funding from the National Geographic Society, which owns National Geographic News.)
"We call on the international community to engage in solving the ...