Poacher Accused of Poisoning More Than 100 Elephants Is Arrested After Four Years on the Run

By Joe McCarthy

Tony Maphosa, a Zimbabwean poacher, is accused of putting cyanide in watering holes and salt pans used by elephants numerous times over several years.

All told, his poisoning spree is said to have killed more than 100 elephants, according to Zimbabwean authoritieswho have been searching for Maphosa for four years.

"[Maphosa] has been on the wanted list in connection poisoning elephants in 2013 and is also linked to the death of eight elephants this year," a police source told the Zimbabwe Chronicle.

He was arrested last week in Hwange National Park following the recent deaths of two elephants from cyanide poisoning, a common tactic used by poachers to remove the ivory tusks of elephants, which can then be sold for a high price internationally. Two tusks were found on him when he was detained.

He could face 15 or more years in prison and more than $1 million in fines, based on past punishments of poachers and guidelines set by the government.

In recent years, some poachers have switched tactics, choosing to poison elephants rather than shoot them because it's stealthier. This arrest brings down a prominent poacher, but the problem in Zimbabwe is far wider than a single individual.

Each year, dozens of elephants are killed in this park alone, which is also where Cecil the Lion was killed, despite there being an active anti-poaching team on duty, according to The Independent.

Lack of funding for park resources, the relentlessness of poachers, and the continued demand for ivory on the global black market keeps this number from falling.

All throughout Africa, poaching undermines efforts at conservation.

Poachers killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a 2014 study. In central Africa, the total elephant population declined by 64 percent during one decade.

Progress has been made in recent years, however.

READ MORE by Joe M cCarthy

Comments
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lafillefrancaise
lafillefrancaise

Keep up the good work!

brigitte-perreault
brigitte-perreault

Editor

OH! That is a fantastic news indeed! wow!

jean
jean

Editor

GOOD NEWS!!!

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