Gabon: Poachers kill 11,000 elephants

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The Independent Online

Poachers have killed more than 11,000 elephants in Gabon since 2004, it has been revealed.

The country is home to more than half of Africa's 40,000 forest elephants, which are prized for the quality of their pink-tinged ivory. Campaigners said the situation was "out of control" and blamed high demand for ivory jewellery in Asia.

The Gabonese National Parks Agency conducted the latest research with wildlife campaigners.

Bas Huijbregts from the World Wildlife Fund said authorities were struggling to cope with the problem. "It is very difficult to track poachers here," he said.

Previously, elephant poaching had taken place mainly in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, but with demand for ivory growing and prices rocketing in recent years, poachers have sought out the forest elephants in Gabon.