Two men have been arrested for killing two forest elephants, John Flomo, head of the Wologizi national park in Liberia, said on Monday.
Flomo told news agency AFP that the bodies of the two protected elephants were discovered earlier this month in Lofa county. Their tusks were still intact.
“All animals in the park are protected by law, and anyone caught killing them has to face the weight of the law,” Flomo said.
Liberia is home to between 350 and 400 forest elephants, the Elephant Research and Conservation (ELRECO) group said earlier this year.
The elephants are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered. The animals are threatened by habitat loss, poaching for ivory and bushmeat (meat of African wild animals as food).
Liberia tries to protect the animals by giving fines to anyone caught hunting in conservation areas. The Liberian government also launched a National Elephant Action plan in 2017.
But Tina Vogt from ELRECO said that conflicts between humans and elephants has continued. They are often started because hungry elephants eat crops of farmers.
In 2019, a man was arrested for allegedly killing four elephants in Liberia.
Liberia is home to huge lands of virgin rainforest and about 5 million people. World Bank data indicates that despite the West-African country’s natural wealth, it is one of the world’s poorest, with over 2.2 million Liberians unable to meet their basic food needs in 2016.
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