Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park Monthly update
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Dear friends, colleagues and supporters,
Unfortunately, I don't always have good news to share with you. This month, the park experienced a dramatic surge in poaching! Two major poaching events were detected. Ten poached elephants carcasses discovered in the park and its periphery, a number that is stupefying to us all.
In one of those event, following a strong reaction from the park's anti-poaching team, a group of five poachers active in the southern sector were confronted at an ambush setup on the major exit points form this part of the park. During the confrontation, shots were fired between the poachers and rangers. The poachers fled, leaving behind a large quantity of ivory and much of their equipment. The weapon used by the poachers was discovered soon after and a warrant for the suspects' arrest has been issued. Three poachers, all DRC citizens, were arrested within the following hours and are currently being interviewed by the park warden, who is assisted by a team of jurists of WCS. There is a good chance we will catch the other two in the coming days.
Although we have only been able to act after the harm was done, our anti-poaching team has demonstrated a lot of courage and professional know-how. These men and women rangers are definitely the pride of Nouabalé-Ndoki. In a quest to continuously improve, we are currently preparing a refresher training for our troops and the new recruits that will very soon join us to reinforce our contingent of rangers.
Eric ARNHEM, Ph.D.
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