Will Mobilization of Military Forces Stop Elephant Poaching in Cameroon?

Location of park in the northernmost part of Cameroon, adjacent to Chad. Courtesy of National Geographic Maps.

Ten elephant carcasses discovered in mid-January in and around Cameroon‘s Bouba Ndjida National Park are raising fears that poachers may again be targeting the park. But information remains sketchy.

According to the Cameroon Tribune, a government newspaper, the military made several patrols following reports of gunfire and men on horseback searching for elephants.

They found ten elephant carcasses, of which eight were missing their tusks.

While searching for the culprits a week or so later, Cameroon’s elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) clashed with a gang of heavily armed poachers. Following the firefight, the poachers retreated, leaving behind four tusks, ammunition, and four horses.

Security in the area is precarious, and it’s as yet unknown if there are additional carcasses.

“We don’t know precisely what happened,” said Paul Bour, the park lodge manager. “We’re unable to go there to see firsthand because it’s too dangerous.”

Many Questions, Few Answers

While extra patrols and flights were organized to find the poachers, or possibly more carcasses, there has been no news on whether anyone has been apprehended or any additional evidence found.

Even under the best of circumstances, searching for poachers in Bouba Ndjida National Park is a challenge: It encompasses a huge area—850 square miles (2,200 square kilometers)—and —> Read More Here


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