Home » General » Elephant poaching rife in Sepako

Elephant poaching for their tusks is said to be growing at an alarming rate in Sepako village, with four elephants discovered dead in the bush recently.

The wildlife officer for Sepako village, Mr Oabona Kgongwana reveiled in an interview on July 29, that four other elephants and a giraffe were killed in June, and no tusks were recovered while no perpetrators were caught.

He explained that most of these elephants were shot during the day and poachers later trace them to locate if the shot elephant is dead.

Mr Kgongwana observed that most local poachers wait until the dead elephants decompose while foreign poachers kill and cut the tusks before escaping.

The wildlife officer said they work closely with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) by patrolling the affected areas to check for any irregularities on a daily basis and use a helicopter for aerial surveillance.

He said they have engaged the communities of Sepako, Maposa and Manxotai villages by addressing kgotla meetings to sensitise people about the dangers of poaching to the country’s economy.

“Our country is trying to diversify the economy through tourism, therefore poaching hinders this process,” Mr Kgongwana said.

Sepako village chief, Kgosi Joseph Ramaditse also raised concern that poaching is growing at an alarming rate in his area. He said there is a regular occurrence of decomposed elephants remains in the bushes, noting that the animals pass through his village at night in search of water.

Kgosi Ramaditse also said the village is located next to the hunting area of CT3, which may be the cause for elephants migrating in large numbers into the village. He said that they have embarked on crime prevention strategies like cluster groups who patrol affected areas. Kgosi Ramaditse said they sometimes find wire traps around the bush, which they believe are used by poachers to capture other wild animals.

Meanwhile Nata Police have detained five men and two women aged 19 to 50 years in connection with elephants killed in Sepako this month.

Assistant Superintendent Amon Selabe said most of these poachers are locals who sell the tusks to foreigners.  He noted that other animals like giraffes are rarely killed while elephants are leading in numbers of poached animals in the area.

Asst Supt Selabe said the police hold workshops across the village wards and kgotla meetings to sensitize the public about dangers of poaching to their lives and the country’s economy as well as to sentitise them about the charges one can face if caught. ENDS

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