It has been a bloody week for elephants in the news. Yesterday, we discussed how NBC has aired a program showing a NRA lobbyist shooting an elephant in the face for ratings while in Cameroon serial elephant poachers are facing just three years for killing more than 100 elephants. Over in Zimbabwe, three poachers have been sentenced to roughly 15 years in prison for killing another 81 elephants by poisoning their water holes. This sentence is more substantial and welcomed, though it is hard to imagine what you would have to do against the environment to merit a life sentence.
Diyane Tshuma, 25, Robert Maphosa, 42, and Thabani Zondo, 24, were sentenced to 16 years, 15 years, and 15 years respectively for their heinous crimes. They used cyanide to poison watering holes at in Hwange National Park in the west of Zimbabwe. They then cut off the tusks and sold them on the Asian market.
They killed not just elephants with this technique but lions and buffalos using the water holes. It is hard to imagine a more despicable and merciless crime than poisoning water holes to kill dozens of elephants. Yet, environmentalists are fortunate to see a 15 years sentence as the Cameroon cases demonstrate.