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Official complicity in Mozambican elephant slaughter


As elephant poaching statistics continue to rise in northern Mozambique, a year-long investigation by Oxpeckers associate Estacios Valoi exposes official complicity in the slaughter.

Environmentalists warned in mid-September that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an “industrialised” scale – between 1 500 and 1 800 elephants are being poached a year, mostly in northern Mozambique.

In Niassa National Reserve, the country’s largest game reserve, the World Conservation Society (WCS) counted 22 poached elephants in the first two weeks of September alone.

“The killing of elephants in the north of Mozambique is reaching proportions never seen before. The killing of elephants is being industrialised,” said Carlos Pareira, an advisor to the WCS.

Between 2009 and 2013 Niassa’s elephant population was reduced from 20 374 to less than 13 000.

According to the reserve’s administrator, Cornélio Miguel, an average of five elephants are now being killed there daily.

In the Quirimbas National Park, the elephant population was reduced from about 2 000 in 2008 to 517 by 2011, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Baldeu Chande, the administrator of Quirimbas, estimates the park now has a maximum of 790 elephants.

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