The elephants in Africa are in danger. Illegal hunters killed within the last three years 100,000 elephants, a new study suggests. According to the study, in 2011 alone, 1 in 12 elephants were hunted.
A new study documenting the elephant population in Africa presents a grim picture. Within three years, 100,000 elephants were hunted on the continent. In Central Africa, the region hardest hit, 64% of the elephants were hunted. In 2011, 1 out of 12 elephants in the wild were hunted illegally.
“The new information will move the discussion from guesswork and assumptions to the facts. I think that the research is the only one based on a numerical study on the elephant population in all of Africa,” explained researcher George Wittemyar from the University of Colorado, who conducted the research.
“I hope that the data will accelerate the efforts of African governments against illegal hunting, which threatens the existence of many elephant populations,” he stressed. The elephants are hunted for their tusks which are made of ivory, which has become very popular in China and Asia in general. Because of the sale of tusks on the black market in Asia, a market was created for real elephant ivory.
In one of the cases documented in the research, in 2012 hunters entered a park in the Cameroon while armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades. They slaughtered 300 elephants.
Hunted elephant Photo Credit: Channel 2