African poachers kill 300 elephants with cyanide, worst slaughter in 25 years

A horrific story from the Telegraph about African poachers killing 300 elephants, and countless other animals, with cyanide.

They’re saying it’s the worst carnage they’ve seen in southern Africa in 25 years.

People like this should be shot, IMHO.

More from the Telegraph:

Poachers killed the elephants over the past three months by lacing waterholes and salt licks with cyanide. Animals are drawn to them during the dry season in the already arid and remote south-eastern section of the 5,660-square mile park.

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.

Zimbabwe’s authorities say the cyanide has been planted by villagers who sell the elephants’ tusks for around £300 each to cross-border traders. They can be resold in South Africa for up to £10,000 a pair, according to court papers relating one recent incident, sometimes re-emerging as carved artefacts such as bangles in Cape Town’s craft markets.

I sat next to a guy on my flight to Europe this summer, Etienne Gerber, who works in the anti-poaching business. He’s a pilot with the Zulu Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP Wing) in South Africa. Their primary purpose is aerial surveillance to stop the poaching of rhinos.  You can read up a bit more on Etienne’s aerial surveillance work here, and here’s their Facebook page.


There’s an awful image in the video below, from Etienne’s organization, and on their Web site (link here) of a rhino that was butchered just for its tusks.  Really horrific – so be forewarned, I can’t even post it here.

They rely exclusively on donations for their budget.  You can donate if you like via this Web site, “GivenGain” – I’d never heard of this particular donation site, givengain, but it’s used by Greenpeace Africa and the Nelson Mandela Center, so it’s clearly legit. I gave $50 – it’s quite a nicely easy donation site (though – hint hint – ZAP et. al., need to make it MUCH clearer on their Web site how to donate, with a link to the donation site :-).

Here’s a video showcasing ZAP Wing’s important work.  (And on a happier note, here’s a n*ked skydive for rhinos, sure to inspire you. This would not be my, Etienne :)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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