Poachers Jailed After Poisoning Watering Holes To Kill 81 Elephants For Their Tusks

220px-Tanzanian_ElephantIt 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.

27 thoughts on “Poachers Jailed After Poisoning Watering Holes To Kill 81 Elephants For Their Tusks

  1. Hey Moss: The market in ivory is primarily in Asia, particularly China, and is being driven by the increase in wealth resulting from the global trade imbalance. The newly developed Chinese middle class is flocking to snap up ivory artifacts similar to the way herds of North Americans furnish their homes with stuff from Ikea and Pottery Barn; it’s their way of displaying their status. Want to put a dent in the ivory trade? Do your best to buy something not made in China. It won’t be possible to eliminate Chinese made items 100%, but anything’s going to help make a difference. Read the labels and try to justify the few cents more in cost in your mind. Most of the time, the inferior quality of Chinese made products isn’t worth the savings.

    Also, the status of ivory should be attacked at its core, stigmatizing it as primitive and barbaric by comparing it to the collecting of shrunken heads or scalps.

    Incidentally, the Clinton Global Initiative is donating $80m to protecting elephants in Africa. Hopefully, much of that money will go to the rangers on the front line. I’ve said elsewhere that rangers should be among the most highly paid positions on the continent to ensure the economics benefits for protecting and preserving the species is unmistakable and impossible to ignore

  2. Only intellectual vanity permits one the cognitive dissonance unsound enough to believe that the earth possesses THE most intelligent life in the Universe.

    Billions of years of evolution – and we’re the shiz-nit!



  3. How ingenious of them. In terms of poaching they hit the ball right out of the park.

    When we begin to place limits on human procreation, and have governments see that they are adhered to, than perhaps the environment and other species that share this earth will have a chance. You cannot chance human behaviour, at best you can limit its destructiveness by limiting the number of human beings that are born. The earth currently boast close to 7 billion of us, do we really need to add to this another 2 billion say in the next 25 years?

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