Bid to stop elephant poaching in Cameroon ends in violence
March 12, 2012
Poachers have always targeted elephants for their ivory tusks, but the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) recently reported more than 300 have been slaughtered in the past few months. In an effort to stop the illegal slaughter of these creatures, the IFAW and the Cameroon government have employed military force.
However, this tactic resulted in violence. A clash between poachers and the Cameroon Rapid Intervention Battalion left 10 elephants, one soldier and one poacher dead.
"The fight against poaching is a war and like any other war there will be casualties," said Celine Sissler Bienvenu, director of IFAW France and head of operations in Africa. "These poachers are working in gangs. We found shells indicating they are armed with military-issue automatic or semi-automatic weapons... Villagers who have come into contact with the poachers were told of their plans to collect as much ivory as they can until the end of March."
The best way to put an end to the unnecessary slaughter of elephants in Cameroon, according to Sissler Bienvenu, is to remove the demand for ivory on an international level.