Poachers Kill 300 Elephants With Cyanide

Last month, we reported that poachers were killing elephants using cyanide in Zimbabwe’s 5,660-square mile Hwange National Park, killing at least 41. Sadly, as terrible as that was, it wasn’t nearly the whole extent of the horror: Since then, legit hunters have brought new information about the carnage, providing evidence from wide aerial surveys showing that more than 300 elephants were poisoned by poachers.

Parts of the national park, whose more accessible areas are visited by thousands of tourists each year, can be seen from the air to be littered with the deflated corpses of elephants, often with their young calves dead beside them, as well as those of other animals. There is now deep concern that the use of cyanide “first revealed in July, but on a scale that has only now emerged” represents a new and particularly damaging technique in the already soaring poaching trade. (source)

Conservationists have called this the “worst single [animal] massacre in southern Africa for 25 years”.

Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The poachers lace the waterholes where elephant go drink with cyanide, as well as salt licks that attract the animals during the dry season.

Cyanide being a poison, the elephants were not the only victims, directly or indirectly. The elephant carcasses of course became magnets for all kinds of animals…

After the elephants died, often collapsing just a few yards from the source, lions, hyenas and vultures which fed on their carcasses were also struck down, as were other animals such as kudu and buffalo that shared the same waterholes.

In 2011, at least 17,000 African elephants were killed for their tusks according to Cites, the international body that focuses on endangered species.

blieusong/CC BY-SA 2.0


Via Telegraph


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by Michael Graham Richard, from Treehugger

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Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

very sad but thanks for sharing

Donna Ferguson
Donna F.1 years ago

so very sad! poachers should die!

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton2 years ago

I saw a video when they were culling them. I cried so bad. I hope these people get serious jail time and I hope our government doesn't send them a dime.!!

Klaus Peters
Klaus Peters2 years ago

There are no words for this sort of behavior, it is getting worse, greed, selfishness and total ignorance from the poor people right up to big business$ No wonder our planet is dying and so will all of us.

Sandra M.
Sandra M.2 years ago

I cant stand this anymore! Why oh why can not more be done to stop this?

Michelle R.
.2 years ago

This is just too horrible for words..

Mary Madigan
Mary M.2 years ago

This is terrible. Lets stop the illegal trade by refusing anything with Ivory making Ivory worthless.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Kara, for Sharing this

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.2 years ago

That is just terrible to read. Wow. Thats so disgusting.

To think it takes 22 mths or so for a female to give birth but in a blink of an eye it can die.
22mths... thats nearly 2 years. Two whole entire years but some lousy poacher aims and fires and bang its dead. that is just so.............. so .............. sad.

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago

Horrible :-(