Cameroon's elephants: A new status for Bouba Njida--National Park or elephant graveyard?

Three elephants poached in Cameroon for their ivory tusks. © Boubandjida Safari Lodge  It’s midnight in Brazzaville where I’ve been living for the past few days, preparing for a workshop the International Fund for Animal Welfare will run in June to train law enforcement officials how to fight against ivory trafficking. The bustling capital of the Republic of the Congo has finally fallen asleep.

I should do the same but I can’t stop staring at the map of northern Cameroon I received a few hours ago. The map is strewn with figures showing the extent of the massacre that took place over the past four weeks in Bouba Njida National Park, on the north-eastern border with Chad.

1, 5, 10, 17, 45... There is no mathematical pattern or logic to the numbers. They represent the tragic count of elephant carcasses – with severed trunks and ripped out tusks – now scattered across the arid soil of what was once Cameroon’s most prized park.

In just one month, 200 out of the park’s nearly 600 elephants have been killed by dozens of Sudanese and Chadian poachers armed with machine guns and operating in gangs on horseback. Nothing seems to be able stop their reckless pursuit of ivory that began in mid-November in the Central African Republic, carried on in Chad in December, and ended in Cameroon in January.

Faced with the unprecedented increase in poaching, IFAW has been financing projects since 2009 to fight against poaching in Central African countries by strengthening the operational capacities of park rangers and conservation authorities. To this end, I will be flying to Bouba Njida and its elephant graveyard in a few days to help set up a regional information and warning system to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

If 200 slaughtered elephants are enough for a wake up call today, how many more elephants will have to pay with their lives before our governments finally put an end to the ivory trade?

--CSB

Take action now by signing the IFAW "Say NO! to ivory Facebook petition at elephantmarch.com

An anonymous mapping of the location of slaughtered elephants in Cameroon.

Celine recently spoke with Australia's SBS Radio about the situation in Cameroon's Bouba Nijda National Park. Click here to listen.

Comments: 54

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I've made a $100 donation toward this campaign. I've also signed the Facebook page petition.

Sincerely,
April Keyes
Canada

 
Amanda Thweatt
2 years ago

Thank you for your important work in protecting the wonderful elephants. I can see everyone appreciates and supports you. Deepest gratitude.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

What a feeling of helplessness I have as I look at the picture of these three slain elephants. What is wrong with the human race? Can we not just appreaciate the beauty of nature & its animals? Why do some hearltess humans feel the need to impose their greed & ignorance on earth's creatures? So sad....

-Chris-
Toronto, CANADA

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

human has reached its lowest level.shame on us!

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I would erase those humans who did this to elephants and any animals.This is not human act,these that done this are monsters not humans.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Celine, we have many heroes on this earth and you are one of them. God bless you and your team for your amazing work, I'm horrified by what is taking place, or should I say what has been going on for a very long time. They are the gentle giants on this planet, and we need to proctect, and save them as soon as possible!

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

This is shocking and needs to be stop straight awayDISGUSTED

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

This is yet another money making scheme for these poachers!!!
Thank goodness there are people like Celine available to be involved in the Elephant & Wildlife Trade Programmes & fight to stop this slaughter. Any signing of petitions Worldwide is a help to try & stop this, or are we to lose yet another species to greed!!!
Anonymous, Australia

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

We just can' t trust the Human Race. They are very Greedy.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Celine, we have many heroes on this earth and you are one of them. God bless you and your team for your amazing work, I'm horrified by what is taking place, or should I say what has been going on for a very long time. They are the gentle giants on this planet, and we need to proctect, and save them as soon as possible. I foster 3 Elephants in Thailand and it is with love I do this, as I want there remaining time to be in peace.

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Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Cynthia Moss, IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia