Over the years the CMS Secretariat has regularly received reports of elephants being killed in Africa. With the exception of southern African populations all other African elephant populations are decreasing. The recent accounts of poaching of close to 450 elephants in Bouba Ndjida National Park in northern Cameroon increase the concerns about the future of elephants in Africa.
The Secretary-General of CITES stressed in his Press Release of 28th February 2012 that “This most recent incident of poaching elephants is on a massive scale but it reflects a new trend we are detecting across many range States, where well-armed poachers with sophisticated weapons decimate elephant populations, often with impunity. The CITES programme for Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) has revealed increasing levels of poaching in 2011“.
The CMS Secretariat fully supports the statement of our colleague from CITES and also would like to express its grave concern about this increase in elephant poaching all over Africa. Meanwhile the Secretariat has contacted the responsible Minister in Cameroon to express its deep concerns and requested more information on this incident. If the International Community fails to combat this kind of wildlife crime successfully, the future of the African Elephant will be at stake.