By Ally Catterick
On 7 February, 2012, an elephant was found brutally killed for its ivory in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The death of this elephant serves as a tragic reminder that the poaching threat - not only for ivory but also rhino horn – is ever-present in this region, and remains a conservation challenge and priority on a global scale.
This incident took place in the Rwindi area (central sector) of the Park, at night, on the main road to Goma – a public road. The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a coalition of FFI, AWF and WWF, works with with Virunga National Park to conserve mountain gorilla populations in the Mikeno area of the Park. This map on the Virunga National Park website shows the proximity of the two areas. The Mikeno area is home to the mountain gorillas and also forest elephants.
The Park reported that after being shot eight times, the elephants head was removed and the poachers left with the ivory. A full investigation has been launched by the Park and additional security measures are being taken.
WARNING: The PDF download this link leads to is of a highly brutal and distressing nature, and is not suitable for sensitive readers. Download the image.
Read the full report on the Virunga National Park website.