Ethiopia Worries on the Rise of Elephant Poaching

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Addis Ababa July 31/2020 (ENA) Ethiopia is worrying at the rise in elephant poaching and killing following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, threatened to drop the number of elephants significantly.

The past five months have not been trouble-free for elephants in Ethiopia as 10 of them killed by poachers, Wildlife Conservation Authority said.  

Director-General of the Authority, Kumera Wakjira told ENA elephants have been targeted by poachers for ivory after the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the country.

There are various factors including loss of habitats and people looking for arable lands have contributed for the illegal wildlife killings, however, he said poaching elephants for ivory is the popular reason for the killings.

Today elephant population in Ethiopia estimated about 2,000 where the population has dropped because of increasing poaching, Kumera said.

Elephant killing by poachers is swiftly rising in the country due to the wave of speared of coronavirus which hampered wildlife protection in various parks and protected areas, he stated.

Kumera said seven elephants in Babille and three elephants in Mago National Parks have killed in the past five months. Babille, Mago and Gambella National Parks are the popular abode for elephants in Ethiopia.

“Immediate after the first COVID-19 case identified in Ethiopia, wildlife conservation and protection activities in various parks have decelerated which created opportunities for poacher to hunt and killed the elephants,” he said.

The Director-General explained that the Authority is now working to prevent the killing of the elephants.

He urged that collaboration of all parties including the public is very needed to control the situation.

“Ethiopia is a member of the International Community for Protection and Conservation of Elephants. So as a member we are striving to control the situation in collaboration with our international partners. The issue is a global problem which needs international intervention,” he said.

He recalled that 10 elephant have also killed last year in Ethiopia and urged for public and international collaboration to control the situation.

According to a data from the Authority Ethiopia had more than 10,000 elephants in the 1970s, however in recent years, the number of the elephants in the country declined to 1500 to 2000.