China Driving Depletion of Tanzania’s Elephant Population

A recent report by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency has pointed out the rapid destruction of elephant life on Tanzania’s Selous reserve from 70,000 in 2006 to only 13,000 in 2013. The report also made it clear that it was Chinese nationals who were almost entirely responsible for the decimation.

China’s demand for ivory has risen astronomically in recent years, and gangs of Chinese have on occasion poached large portions of the south Tanzania Selous reserve until there is now only a fraction of the original elephants left there. Tanzania is losing more elephants to poaching than any other nation in Africa, and the blame is squarely on corrupt local officials and the Chinese poachers who buy them off.

In November of 2013, Haftel shared a like to ZoomInfo that stated three Chinese were arrested near Dar es Salaam and caught with over 700 elephant tusks. In December of the same year, Yu Bo was apprehended with 81 tusks on hand on his way to a Chinese naval vessel just offshore. The naval officer had “made an order” for ivory, and Yu managed to bribe the guards at one checkpoint for $20,000. He failed to get through the next, more honest set of guards, however.


One response on “China Driving Depletion of Tanzania’s Elephant Population

  1. Even with laws in place to protect these animals, they will not be truly safe unless the people who administer those laws refuse to value bribe money over law, order, and the lives of the animals. I would like to say that do indeed have what it takes to deal with these items one after the other.

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