Peter Ngea on Elephant Poaching
from Charlotte, North Carolina on
October 7, 2004
Peter Ngea, Communication Manager for
the World Wildlife Fund - Central African Region, shares his
knowledge of poaching and poaching control.
Questions and Answers
How do you catch the poachers?
Game guards make regular raids in the forest. Most
poachers set up make-shift camps in the heart of the forest,
where they stay for several days or weeks killing animals
and storing them. Most often, game rangers arrive and arrest
them, burn their camps, and seize whatever game they find.
Poachers are also arrested in markets where they show up to
sell bushmeat. Most major roads have checkpoints manned by
game guards who easily arrest poachers or drivers found
What do the poachers make out of the African Elephants tusks?
Most of the poachers do nothing but kill the animals. The
elephant tusks are sold to business people who export them
illegally. Many crafts are made out of elephant ivory.
How do you keep the poachers away from the African Elephant?
The only way is to carry out regular raids and checks.
Poachers arrested are jailed and/or fined heavy sums. World
Wildlife Fund is also encouraging local communities to raise
chicken, sheep, etc. so that they could depend less on
After the poachers get the tusks, what do they do with the
rest of the elephant?
Sometimes they get the tusks and collect the meat for
sale. At other times, they take off the tusks and allow the
rest of the animal to rot in the forest because the elephant
is so large that it is impossible to carry one away at one
Why do poachers kill the African Elephant to get to the
tusks; why not use tranquilizer darts?
Even if they use tranquiler darts, the elephant will not
live after the tusks are rooted out. Most of the poachers
are illiterate and know little or nothing about darts. World
Wildlife Fund is promoting campaigns to make everyone aware
that it is illegal to trade in tusks or to kill elephants.
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