Archive for Zakouma National Park

*Warning: Graphic* Slaughter of a family of Elephants – unseen and unheard of by the rest of the world……

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by kendickjerkins

About a week ago we brought you coverage from our contacts on the ground, SOS Elephants of Chad, about the horrific killings of a family of Elephants which also resulted in the deaths of 2 Chadian soldiers. It’s a gruesome event which occurs all too often, resulting in the loss of thousands of elephants over the past decade and numerous human lives . We would like to show photographs taken from that scene, though me must warn you they are fairly graphic and are a bit blurry because it was taken from a cell phone. Though it is a sensitive subject and it’s hard to look at these pictures it is imperative that we show the rest of the world what’s really going on behind closed doors, deep in the bush where it remains unseen and unheard of by the rest of the world……………………..

The Elephants of Chad: Holocaust Revealed

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2010 by kendickjerkins

In the last 20 years, the central African nation of Chad has seen a 98.5% loss of their elephant population in Zakouma National Park. Some 39,400 elephants have been lost in this short period of time, leaving Zakouma with a frighteningly small population of around 600 elephants. Broken down, this averages out to 1,970 elephants per year, about 164 per month, nearly 38 per week and about five to six per day. At this rate Zakouma National Park’s elephant population could become locally extinct within the next year. While a number of factors contribute to the decline in the global African elephant population, poaching is by far the greatest concern for the existence of the earth’s largest land mammal.

Chad’s Legendary Elephant Herds

Central Africa is home to one of the last sizeable elephant populations in all of Africa, and Zakouma National Park has held a large majority of these individuals. Elephants migrate to Zakouma during the dry season because of the plentiful water sources available there. The poaching of Chad’s elephants represents one of the most extreme cases of such activities in all of Africa as the size of the population there proves its importance.

What used to be a problem of a few individuals poaching elephants to support and feed their families has exploded into armed poaching militias running after ivory and now involves war, murder and genocide. These poachers travel by horse and camel into Chad through neighboring countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic and Sudan where they have some of their bases. Chad is a very large country and anyone traveling by horse can easily cross the border undetected. Furthermore, Chad has a large number of transhumant nomadic tribes that dress the same way as poachers.

This makes it very difficult for Chadian armed forces and authorities to detect poachers before they kill elephants, unless local communities alert them beforehand of suspected individuals. It requests a lot of sensitization in places where elephants are destroying crops yearly and rural communities could care less if they are killed and removed from the area if it meant they could save their crops and feed their families.Poachers exploit complex elephant social behavior to maximize their poaching efforts and have used advanced technology such as GPS and Satellite phone to locate herds.

Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, has become personally concerned for Chad’s elephant population and has deployed his military to help fight for these animal’s lives. Some 70 Chadian soldiers work in teams to track down poachers and attempt to halt their activities. These guards risk everything, and many brave soldiers have lost their lives in this battle. Poachers are not willing to let anything or anyone get between them and their coveted ivory, they will do anything to protect it.

The cost of ivory has increased nearly eight-fold since 2004, easily fetching $1,000 per kilo on the black market. Thus a tusk weighing 23-34kg (51-99lbs) could be worth $2,300-$3,400 or more. Illegal ivory trade is a global problem, with China being the biggest consumer. If you think about it, 40 tons of ivory (80,000lbs) is roughly the equivalent of 4,000 dead elephants. It is not uncommon for Chad to seize several tons of ivory from poachers.

This is a serious issue that needs to be made aware of on a global scale. If action is not taken immediately Chad could close its legendary elephant herds in the next few years. Not only that but the world may soon lose one of the most majestic creatures to ever roam the earth. Stay tuned…

Chad’s New Elephant Guardians…

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Keeping to his promise to ensure that Chad’s elephants fate will not become the same as in its neighboring countries, President Idriss Deby has deployed a highly trained military unit from the Chadian armed forces to aid in the protection of Zakouma National Park and its flora and fauna. This unit is working in conjunction with the existing ranger teams that are currently on the ground.

President Idriss Deby Burying poached Ivory

The legendary Zakouma National Park
was created in 1963, and was Chad’s first national park, it has an area of almost 3000 square kilometres (1200 square miles) and  is entirely surrounded by the
Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve, which is a conservation area of roughly 20,600 square kilometres.

Zakuma’s Legendary Elephant Herds

For many years Zakouma was neglected during the period of civil conflict, but with the arrival of President Deby to power a restoration has began and is continuing to date. Zakuma boasts in rich  and diverse wildlife population that includes over 44 species of large mammals as well as many species of birds.

Zakouma National Park has been nominated to become a Unesco World Heritage Site.

<!–[endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 <![endif]–> <!–[endif]–><!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–><!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>

Bookmark and Share

Ivory Wars: Last Stand in Chads Zakouma National Park

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by Dori G

Zakouma National Park in southeastern Chad is home to one of the world’s largest remaining concentrations of elephants. Despite a tumultuous history of slavery, colonialism, and civil war, the Chad government and  conservationists have managed to create a wildlife refuge here.

To read more about Chad’s Ivory War click here…