Elephants in Cyanide Shock

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

You think you’ve seen and heard it all. Animals beaten to death, locked away in solitary for year, turned into fur coats, ivory bangles, pseudo-medicinal products….

And then someone takes it to another level of depravity.

In an incident that has only recently come to light, Zimbabwean authorities report the poisoning of over 40 elephants with cyanide – all for the sake of their ivory.

Great, magnificent creatures dying in agony and left to rot. And the poison will also kill any wild scavengers that subsequently come to feed on their elephantine, grey-ghost carcasses.

Cruel, indiscriminate (babies and adults, killed without compassion or thought) and utterly heartless.

The local authorities, many of them doing their very best, have recovered 17 tusks (worth an estimated US$100,000 or more) and 6 suspects have been arrested, but clearly someone has made a killing.

There are fewer and fewer elephants still wandering the plains and forests of Africa. They are the target of spearing, shooting, hunting, poisoning and persecution. The forces protecting them are ill-equipped, thin on the ground and poorly paid.

Our job? To make a difference (as we have just done in Burkina Faso). It’s going to be a hard, long battle for the elephants – but it’s a war we simply cannot afford to lose.

This incident has made me MAD – but the fightback starts now!

Blogging off.

Will Travers OBE
CEO Born Free Foundation

5 Responses to “Elephants in Cyanide Shock”

  1. gill gilbey Says:

    there are no words to describe this barbarity.

  2. Catherine Clarke Says:

    This make me MAD too. Human stupidity has no bounds.

  3. Kerry Holden Says:

    I am very saddened and also angry to read this. Thank you Born Free for all you do and all the best with your continuing fight against atrocities such as this.

  4. Neville Wells Says:

    Money is at the root of this atrocity as usual. What more can be done to stop this evil at the source and at the end market for ivory ?

  5. laurel mancini Says:

    And when this planet is home to less of our fellow creatures that lend it vitality, beauty, aliveness – what will those who have used them for gain, and not for good, turn to? We already enslave other humans and use them for gain. I cannot go to the African continent and stalk those who would destroy – and each time I read of our indifference to life my heart is scalded. It becomes more than I want to read. Let those of us who care and love the variety of life on this planet continue to fight against those who destroy. Sign those petitions, call your congress people, send in the dollar or five – it is all necessary and useful.