Cameroon increases elephant protection after mass slaughter
YaoundÃ©, Cameroon â€“ Six months after the killing of hundreds of elephants in a Cameroon national park, WWF today is releasing exclusive video material from the scene of the shocking event. The release comes on the eve of World Elephant Day on Sunday, August 12, 2012. WWF fears that soon this event might celebrate an extinct species in Central Africa if ivory poaching and illegal wildlife trade is not ended.
Between January and March of this year, heavily-armed foreign poachers invaded Cameroon and killed over 300 elephants in Bouba N'Djida National Park. Since the incident, which drew worldwide media attention, Cameroon has moved to bolster security in its protected areas, including deploying 60 new ecoguards to secure Bouba N'Djida and monitor the park's remaining wildlife. Two rangers recently received gunshot wounds while pursuing a potential poacher adjacent to the park.
The Cameroon government has agreed a plan to recruit an additional 2,500 game rangers over the next five years. The Central African country also intends to establish a new national park authority, following the prime minister's approval of an emergency action plan for securing all frontier protected areas.
While on a recent visit to the military training programme of the new rangers, Cameroon Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) Minister Ngole Philip Ngwese told the recruits "MINFOF is counting on you to fight the challenges on the field, especially with the massacre of elephants at Bouba N'Djida. We can't wait to have you on the field so that together we will fight the course which we all share. You must understand you are working for the nation by protecting our biodiversity, which is one of Cameroon's riches."
Article continues at World Wildlife Fund
Elephant image via Shutterstock