World Bulletin/News Desk
Gunmen believed to be part of the rebel force that seized power in Central African Republic in March have killed at least 26 elephants in a raid on an internationally-protected wildlife park, campaigners said on Friday.
The slaughter underscores how poachers are taking advantage of a security void in the country and, conservationists say, feeding a growing Asian demand for ivory that is threatening populations of forest elephants across the region.
Earlier this week, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said gunmen who had identified themselves as members of the Seleka rebel coalition had entered the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park and headed towards a clearing called Dzanga Bai, or Village of Elephants.
The WWF said local sources there had by Thursday counted 26 elephant carcasses, four of which were calves. The 17 gunmen had since left the area and villagers were now collecting meat from the dead animals, the organisation quoted the sources saying.
"The killing has started. The Central African Republic must act immediately to secure this unique World Heritage site," Jim Leape, WWF's international director general, said in a statement.
CAR has been rocked by instability since Seleka, a coalition of northern rebel groups, swept south and chased President Francois Bozize from power.
"The international community must also act to assist the Central African Republic to restore peace and order in this country to safeguard its population and its natural heritage," Leape added.
Dzanga-Ndoki is part of the United Nations-backed Sangha Trinational world heritage site, which brings together three national parks in CAR, Cameroon and Republic of Congo.
The area is home to a wide array of endangered species, including large populations of forest elephants, lowland gorillas and chimpanzees.
Conservation organisations working in the Congo River Basin met in Brazzaville last month to propose ways for governments to tackle the rampant poaching, which claims an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 African elephants each year.
Brad Smith made a case for a government initiative to lay out rules for proper use of facial recognition technology, with input from a bipartisan and expert commission.
This year's sector showpiece event, opening Monday, will be buzzing on the back of rapid changes in the industry, as US titan Boeing and European arch rival Airbus vie for superiority in the skies.
MEERkat sets stage for Square Kilometre Array project, to allow astronomers to see the sky in unprecedented detail
Prominent users see follower counts decrease by millions after removal of accounts deemed suspicious or fraudulent
Social media giant fined £500,000 ($663,042) for failing to protect users’ private information
The deal marks the biggest overseas foray yet for Tesla, which is looking to expand into global markets, plans that faced a potential threat from the intensifying China-US trade row.
Floating robot is first AI-powered machine to help astronauts complete tasks aboard ISS
Turk Telekom supports increase of competition for higher Internet penetration in Turkey
‘We believe in future of Turkey and we will continue our investments without deceleration,’ says Renault Group’s COO
There was panic across the world today after WhatsApp went down this morning. Whatsapp is having login issues since 2:06 AM EDT.
New study reveal Curiosity rover found ancient organic molecules and seasonal methane gas shifts
Tech giant's Turkey chief aims to take local enterprise to global market
Apple is seeking slightly more than a billion dollars in damages, while Samsung wants a figure closer to $28 million.
His firm behind the project -- "The Boring Company" -- wants to create tunnels that link up with existing subway lines to "complement the system".
As global car giants race for an advantage in the world's largest car market, the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology awarded the two licences for BMW's 7 Series sedans on Monday, the regulator said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will revolutionize telecom, broadcast sectors