A news report published by the newspaper @Verdade [pt\ at the end of October 2012, unmasks illegal hunting of elephants in the Mareja Reserve, in the Northern region of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado. According to the article, the “massacre” is perpetrated by groups of “sophisticatedly armed” poachers and has taken on “gigantic proportions”:
"Every week at least two animals are shot dead, from whom ivory tips are extracted, which are then sold on the black market. The battle takes place in the eyes of government officials and local police who, for comfort and complicity, do not act."
Noise of gunshots is frequently heard and then helicopters or aircrafts are seen flying over the reserve. These serve to load the ivory taken from the animals in danger of extinction, and to facilitate the trafficking of a product that “reaches exorbitant prices on the black market”, and is exported to Asian countries like China, North Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.
A comment [pt\ left by Conor Christie through Facebook adds:
"I worked for a while at the 4th warren in the Manica province, and we were warned that the hunters come from the Beira region and they come WELL EQUIPPED. We had the equivalent of what the guards of Quirimbas had, and were told not to confront them. People who have access to that kind of weaponry are not peasants. While we were there, we knew that poachers rented AK47 (AKM) from the Save's command. We bought bullets for one thousand Meticais [$33 USD\ each, which indicates that access to arms is easy. In my opinion, people behind those deaths in Quirimbas are people with patency [sic\."
Another reader of the newspaper, Kita Chilaule, expressed her indignation [pt\:
"I can't believe there aren't any ways to stop these poachers. I think they are not a bigger number than the guards but yes they have the protection of the local government even because it is clear there is complicity and corruption here. The destruction of eco-tourism heritage in this area is regrettable."
And she continues [pt\:
"Those hunters, the majority are foreigners [and\ cannot have more power of action than the Nationals. I ask whoever owns the rights to stop this practice of wildlife degradation."
Included in the Quirimbas National Park [pt\, which occupies an approximate area of 7,506 square kilometres, Mareja's Reserve is surveilled by a group of 10 forest guards precariously equiped to face poaching. More....