Two elephant calves have been sighted in Zakouma National Park in Chad for the first time in many years. It is hoped that the presence of the calves marks a turning point in the fortunes of the park’s elephant herds which have been decimated after a decade of relentless persecution by poachers.
Having numbered over 4,000 in 2002, Zakouma’s elephants have been reduced to 450 individuals over the last ten years by poachers on horseback who often shoot indiscriminately into the herd. Since assuming management of Zakouma in late 2010, African Parks has stabilised the elephant numbers and not a single elephant has been poached within the park in 15 months. However due to years of stress and persecution, the elephant herd has until recently shown little sign of reproducing, with no elephants recorded under five years old.
elephants are one of the last remaining elephant populations in the
Sudano-Sahelian ecosystem and their continued protection and population
recovery is crucial. Although it is early days, the birth of calves is a
positive sign that the future looks bright for Zakouma’s beleagured elephants.
Source: Ms Jane Edge
Date: 31 Jan 2013