Following an elephant massacre on 24th July, the president of Chad sent soldiers (including helicopters) to the Mayo Lemie – Chari Baguiri area to try and catch the poachers.
- Poachers killed at least 30 elephants in south-western Chad during the early hours of Tuesday, July 24.
- Stephanie Vergniault, president of SOS Elephants described how she witnessed armed horsemen chasing a herd of elephant with “war weapons” and that most of the dead elephants had missing tusks.
- She says that previous efforts to thwart poaching have largely been unsuccessful because the poachers are camping deep within the jungle and use cars that have tinted windows and no license plates to supply food and weapons. She also said while many people are aware of poaching going on “they are so afraid to lose their life that they shut their mouth.”
- The president of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, is reportedly personally concerned about elephant poaching and was unhappy to hear of this latest attack.
- President Deby has sent 200 soldiers in two helicopters and 15 pickup trucks to patrol the area.
- SOS Elephants has called for the creation of a formal protected area for protection of the area and its’ elephant population.
- Vergniault believes the President’s involvement could be important in catching the poachers. “I really believe he will catch some poachers soon,” she said.
- Elephants are poached for their ivory tusks, which are then sold in the illegal markets of other countries such as China, Japan, and even the US.
Want to learn more? Read the full story: President of Chad sends troops after elephant poachers