In Cameroon, illegal poaching is behind 28 elephants killed in recent weeks. According to a March 13 Christian Science Monitor report, ivory poachers in two of Africa's national parks, account for the 62 percent decline in forest elephant numbers in the last decade.
Citing wildlife authority reports, Nki and Lobeke national parks were two places where 28 dead elephant carcasses were found recently.
Between Feb. 10 and March 1, 23 dead animals were found in Nki and another five were discovered in Lobeke. All 28 elephants killed had their tusks stripped from their bodies, which suggests ivory poachers were likely behind the massacre.
Officials are finding it difficult to keep pace with the illegal trade of elephant tusks. Those responsible are typically heavier armed than game wardens and police. Additionally, their weapons of choice tend to be AK-47 assault rifles, which underscore the violent suffering the animals undergo.
With ivory tusks selling for hundreds of dollars per kilogram, there is a lot of incentive to get involved and score a big strike on the black market. Most of the tusks are sold underground in Asian markets, mostly in China. There, the items are made into jeweler and sold in markets.
While Cameroon officials have increased tools to fight off ivory poachers, with the 28 dead elephants killed recently, there is much work to be done. Otherwise, the forest elephants could be extinct within the next 10 years.