Archive for Poachers

Live from the Congo: Poachers, Smoked Monkey Head, and Trapped Parrots, But No Elephants in Sight

Posted in Live From the Congo: Elephant Ivory Project, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by Dori G

There was a shootout.  Andy and I weren’t there, but we learned through satellite text messages that Colonel Gui and his soldiers from the Congolese army ran into the bandits somewhere between Kisangani and Obenge—likely the brothers of Colonel Toms, a convicted war criminal and poacher. A gunfight ensued. One poacher was injured and two others were apprehended. Colonel Gui, with his prisoners in tow, is still coming to Obenge to route out poachers in the region.  We should see them tomorrow.

I got the news during a four-day sampling hike through TL2 with Andy and the scientist John Hart [http://www.bonoboincongo.com]. But let me back up. After Kisangani, which is where I last blogged, we flew to Kindu, a town on the border of the 25,000 square mile jungle known as TL2. It’s the region Elephant Ivory Project-lead Samuel Wasser [http://depts.washington.edu/conserv/Director.html] wants elephant dung samples from most (read the previous posts to understand why). From Kindu, the three of us spent two days on the back of motorbikes, riding dirt paths notched into the jungle and savannah. These paths are arteries out of the bush. We saw locals pushing bicycles loaded with everything from pineapples to bush meat in the form of monkeys and okapi, a striped cousin of the giraffe. At the Lomami River, we loaded into motorized pirogues for a supposed two-day trip north to Obenge, the Hart’s research camp in the northern part of the proposed Lomami National Park. John stopped at every riverside village—about a dozen–to explain what the national park meant for the locals.

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Live From The Congo: Despite Poacher’s Cross-Burning Death Threats, Elephant Ivory Project Team Courageously Presses On

Posted in Live From the Congo: Elephant Ivory Project with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2011 by kyledickman

‘Moses’, a suspected poacher in the Congo jungle, is burning crosses as death threats to National Park supporters, but it’s not enough to derail the Elephant Ivory Project team on to their mission to stop elephant poaching.

We just arrived this morning and I already want to leave Kisangani, a city of 700,000 in the center of Congo’s jungle. A cholera outbreak started in the city last week and left 27 dead—200 more cases have been reported. Andy and I are with Terese and John Hart, conservationists who have been working in the DRC for 30 years (check out their project Bonobos in Congo). They’ve agreed to help us plan our mission. But the question of where to start sampling elephant dung isn’t simple. The region Dr. Wasser wants us to sample most, the proposed Lomami National Park in the 25,000 square mile jungle known as TL2, has become even more dangerous.

Officials burning a poacher's camp near Obenge

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Live From the Congo: Will A ‘Notoriously Violent’ Poacher and Rapist Hamper Elephant Ivory Project’s Efforts to Stop Poaching?

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Live From the Congo: Elephant Ivory Project with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2011 by kyledickman


It’s been a fortunate few days. We arrived in Kinshasa on Monday, exhausted from 36 hours of transit, and found the Congo just as hot as we left it two years ago. On Tuesday morning, we met with Dr. Teresa Hart, a 30-year veteran of conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Teresa first came to the country as a Peace Corp volunteer in 1974. She’s now in her tenth year studying bonobos, an ape found only in the DRC, in a 25,000-square mile block of forest known as TL2. The region is an elephant sanctuary on paper, but animals are disappearing there faster than ever.

“Research here leads to advocacy because it’s all being destroyed,” says Hart.

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Live From the Congo: Elephant Ivory Project’s Journey to Stop Elephant Poaching Begins

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Live From the Congo: Elephant Ivory Project with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by kyledickman

Equipment needed for expedition

Today, I’m packing. After two years in the works, we’re kicking off the Elephant Ivory Project in earnest on Sunday morning, when Andy Maser and I fly to Kinshasa–the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)–with a case of collection vials and the goal of saving a species.  Here’s the back story: Continue reading

Suspected Poachers Leave Zimbabwe Policeman in Critical Condition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by kendickjerkins

A policeman was seriously injured this past week following an exchange of gunfire between police officers and five Mozambicans in the Dumisa area of Chiredzi near the Gonarezhou National Park. The encounter occurred amid reports that security has been tightened along the Zimbabwe-Mozambican border to curb poacher incursions. The policeman, whose name could not be released to the press, was reported to be in critical condition in Chiredzi District Hospital.

Police detectives on patrol, together with officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, spotted the five after they had stopped their car which had developed a mechanical fault. Upon noticing the police and game rangers, the five suspected poachers opened fire and seriously injured one of the policemen. Police returned fire and the suspected poachers took to their heels . However, the police gave chase and arrested two of the Mozambicans. Three managed to escape.

Zimbabwean Police Officers

To read the full article, click here

South Africa: Poachers Strike Pilanseberg: Suzi RIP – The first rhino to be poached in its 31 year history

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by kendickjerkins

An endangered Black Rhino was poached in the Pilanesberg National Park, the first rhino to be poached in this Park in its 31 year history. The 26 year old female, known as Suzi, was shot 4 times, one of the shots in the front leg “knee” joint probably to prevent her from running away or attacking, before both horns were removed by pangas.

Two holes were found in the boundary fence in a remote area of the park. Park management immediately called in a helicopter to search the area to see if the breaches in the fence were linked to rhino poaching, when the carcass of Suzi was spotted from the air. The gang had walked through the bush until finding Suzi where she was shot and her horns were removed. A full forensic investigation was carried out at the scene by the South African Police Services and spent cartridges, as well as other evidence, was found.

Suzi and her calf

Poachers removed her horn with pangas (machetes) and the knee bullet wound is visible

To Read the Full Article, Click Here

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2009: Bleak Year for Rhinos, Reports of worldwide poaching at 15 year high

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Last year, rhino poaching worldwide hit a 15-year high due to increased demand for rhino horn. A recent report by TRAFFIC and IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, showed that since 2006, 95 percent of the poaching in Africa has occurred in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Furthermore the report analyzes poaching incidents by month and through certain countries. It is a good reminder of the issues conservation leaders faced around CoP14 last year and the events and statistics leading to CoP15 which takes place in a few weeks.

Most rhino horns leaving southern Africa are destined for medicinal markets in southeast and east Asia, especially Vietnam, where demand has escalated in recent years.

To Read the Full Report by IUCN, TRAFFIC and WWF…Click Here

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