Wildlife officials say 20 people have been arrested following an operation that targeted elephant poachers in southeastern Cameroon. WWF said Tuesday that local authorities had seized 45 weapons from the suspects including Kalashnikov rifles. They also were found with machetes and chainsaws.
Gilles Etoga, the WWF project manager for the area where the suspects were arrested, said the operation shows just how well-armed the elephant poachers are.
Rangers seized not only ivory tusks, but also elephant, gorilla and chimpanzee meat, authorities said.
The slaughter of Central Africa's forest elephants is on the rise as demand for ivory in Asia soars.
WWF says one recent study found that 62 percent of the Congo Basin's forest elephant population has been wiped out over the past decade.