A Belgian zoo said Saturday it will shorten its rhinos’ horns as an anti-poaching measure following the grisly killing of a white rhino in France.
Researchers looked at visitor and elephant data across 25 countries, and modelled financial losses from fewer visitors in protected areas due to the illegal wildlife trade, which has caused elephant numbers to plummet by more than 100,000 in the last decade. They concluded that Africa was most likely losing $25m in tourism revenue a year.
Across Africa, poaching is on the rise. Progress is being made here and there, but the battle to save the largest animals on the Earth is far from being won.
More African elephants are being killed for ivory than are being born, despite poaching levels falling for the fourth year in a row in 2015.
At least 500 elephants may have been killed during South Sudan’s two-year civil war, including 15 slaughtered in one day last month, the African nation’s wildlife service said.
The oil-producing country’s elephants, which numbered 5,000 in a 2012 nationwide survey, are still at heavy risk from poaching, said Major-General Philip Chol Majak, the agency’s director-general, a year after warning of severe losses to wildlife caused by civilians, rebels and government forces.
Zimbabwe wildlife officials found the carcasses of 22 elephants poisoned by cyanide in the country’s biggest game reserve, Hwange National Park.
The discovery was made in the same area of the park that the bodies of at least 26 other poisoned elephants were found earlier this month, Alvin Ncube, chairman of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, said by phone Monday.
Poachers have killed 77 rhinos in Namibia so far this year, according to a report from the country’s police service.
The latest rhino to be killed for its horn was discovered on Wednesday in the northern Kunene region, the police service said in an e-mailed statement.
Zimbabwe has exported 20 elephants to private game parks in China as part of conservation efforts and amid rising poaching in southern Africa.
U.S. intelligence agencies are considering whether to provide information, analysis and possibly tactical lessons to African governments about how to attack wildlife poaching networks, according to a top official.