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Image from Virunga National Park (www.gorilla.cd)

Elephant murdered for ivory in Democratic Republic of Congo

Posted on: 08.02.12 (Last edited) 9 February 2012

WARNING: This article and its accompanying photos are of a very graphic and disturbing nature and are likely to cause distress to some readers. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has chosen to publish these images and story in recognition of the animal’s life and its subsequent, brutal killing.

On 7 February, 2012, an elephant was found brutally killed for its ivory in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The death of this elephant serves as a tragic reminder that the poaching threat  - not only for ivory but also rhino horn – is ever-present in this region, and remains a conservation challenge and priority on a global scale.

This incident took place in the Rwindi area (central sector) of the Park, at night, on the main road to Goma – a public road. The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a coalition of FFI, AWF and WWF, works with with Virunga National Park to conserve mountain gorilla populations in the Mikeno area of the Park. This map on the Virunga National Park website shows the proximity of the two areas. The Mikeno area is home to the mountain gorillas and also forest elephants.

The Park reported that after being shot eight times, the elephants head was removed and the poachers left with the ivory. A full investigation has been launched by the Park and additional security measures are being taken.

WARNING: The PDF download this link leads to is of a highly brutal and distressing nature, and is not suitable for sensitive readers. Download the image.

Read the full report on the Virunga National Park website.

Written by
Ally Catterick

Ally worked in media management and PR for clients including comedians Eddie Izzard and Ed Byrne before becoming Publicity Manager for the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Strategy and communications for conservation organisation Greening Australia and her role as Unit and Company Publicist for production company Roving Enterprises followed, until she was introduced to FFI upon their arrival in Australia in 2008. Ally became a founding board member – until moving to the UK to become the organisation's Communications Manager. Ally is now FFI's Deputy Director of Communications and oversees all communications for FFI globally.

Other posts by Ally Catterick

The death of this elephant serves as a tragic reminder that the poaching threat - not only of ivory but also rhino horn - is ever-present in this region, and remains a conservation challenge and priority on a global scale.

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