Mozambique is witnessing "an extermination" of elephants and rhinoceros, having lost some 2,500 elephants in the past two years, primarily in areas that are supposed to be protected, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) said this week.
In a statement highlighting the rise in poaching in Mozambique in recent years, the WWF argues that as a result of the illegal killing, the country has lost some €12 million dollars in potential tourism revenue from controlled hunting. ~
"This extermination, which is happening across the country and is more common in protected areas and other free areas with higher concentrations, is being undertaken by Mozambican and foreign citizens," the WWF said.
It noted that the country has emerged as one of the most important sources of ivory and rhino horn for sale in Asia.
According to the organisation, on a recent visit to the National Park of Quirimbas, in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, the WWF's director for the country, Helena Motta, saw some 85 dead elephants in a small area.
"Baby or young elephants are slaughtered first, because the mothers then stay close and are an easy target," she said.
"This has had an immense impact on the herds and on the survivors, which lose the adults that have the information on where the places are that have water.
"The image is indescribably sad," she concluded.