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Gabon to deploy more rangers to counter ivory poachers

Gabon to deploy more rangers to counter ivory poachers


Ivory poaching in Gabon has reached an alarming rate prompting the need to find alternative mechanisms to cripple the illegal trafficking business.

Forest rangers say the poachers are dangerously armed, any encounter with they them put their lives at risk.

“Our activities have become dangerous, given that, the more we arrests the poachers, the more they become more armed. We do not have enough weapons to counter them,” said Claude Angoue, a ranger from north-east parks.

It is estimated that Gabon has lost a third of its forest elephant but still has 45,000 which is an approximation of almost a half of those left in Africa.

“In 10 years, if poaching continues to kill as much as it is now, there will be no more elephants left. So, yes, truly there is an emergency to put in place protective systems to fight against poaching but more specifically against trafficking,” said Luc Mathot, responsible for Wildlife Conservation Justice.

The international community has also joined hands to fight ivory poaching in Gabon. The UK soldiers drawn from the Royal Scots Borderers, the Rifles and other specialist corps will help train the local rangers at Mokekou as a way of boosting their skills.

President Ali Bongo has also vowed to take strict measures on poachers by increasing penalties for culprits. Gabon government will deploy thousands of rangers to counter the daring poachers.

The demand for ivory has increased in Asia and Middle East with their pricing shooting higher every year. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora had banned ivory trade in 1989 but this has not stopped the trade.