Quase todas as semanas, pelo menos 2 animais são abatidos por caçadores furtivos fortemente armados em Mareja-Quirimbas - Cabo Delgado. No passado mês de Agosto, 2 elefantes foram mortos e, em Setembro, quatro. E o número tem vindo a crescer. O pior massacre de elefantes aconteceu no mês de Outubro do ano passado (2011), em que apenas numa semana foram mortos pouco mais de 10 animais. Os furtivos atiram indiscriminadamente, até porque o que interessa são as pontas de marfim, não importando a idade do animal. Eles usam armas de fogo automáticas do tipo AKM, calibre 365, rádios de comunicação e materiais de caça sofisticados, além disso, possuem helicópteros.
Ao contrário dos caçadores furtivos, o grupo de 10 guardas florestais apoiado pelo projecto de protecção de elefantes do alemão Dominik tem apenas 2 armas de fogo manuais, 1/2 dúzia de munições e algumas facas e catanas. Mensalmente, ganham menos de 2 mil meticais pelo trabalho de fiscalização. Durante os 3 dias (e noites) de patrulha, cada pessoa tem direito a menos de 200 gramas de arroz e uma lata de sardinha.
Leiam mais aqui (https://www.google.pt/#q=O+massacre+dos+elefantes+em+MAREJA-QUIRIMBAS-Mo%C3%A7ambique)
Os guardas florestais, tanto os que são apoiados pelo projecto de Mareja assim como os do PNQ, não dispõem de meios à altura para parar a acção do grupo naquela região, onde, no melhor estilo dos cowboys norte-americanos, fala mais alto quem tem o argumento de uma arma de fogo.
"OS ELEFANTES DE MAREJA PRECISAM DE VOCÊ" - FaceBOOk - https://www.facebook.com/events/387424397999022/
news report published by the newspaper @Verdade [pt] at the end of October 2012, unmasks illegal hunting of elephants in the Mareja Reserve, in the Northern region of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado. According to the article, the “massacre” is perpetrated by groups of “sophisticatedly armed” poachers and has taken on “gigantic proportions”:
Every week at least two animals are shot dead, from whom ivory tips are extracted, which are then sold on the black market. The battle takes place in the eyes of government officials and local police who, for comfort and complicity, do not act.
Noise of gunshots is frequently heard and then helicopters or aircrafts are seen flying over the reserve. These serve to load the ivory taken from the animals in danger of extinction, and to facilitate the trafficking of a product that “reaches exorbitant prices on the black market”, and is exported to Asian countries like China, North Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.
Elephant at the Natural Reserve of Maputo. Photo by Leandro's World Tour on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
A comment [pt] left by Conor Christie through Facebook adds:
I worked for a while at the 4th warren in the Manica province, and we were warned that the hunters come from the Beira region and they come WELL EQUIPPED. We had the equivalent of what the guards of Quirimbas had, and were told not to confront them. People who have access to that kind of weaponry are not peasants. While we were there, we knew that poachers rented AK47 (AKM) from the Save's command. We bought bullets for one thousand Meticais [$33 USD] each, which indicates that access to arms is easy. In my opinion, people behind those deaths in Quirimbas are people with patency [sic].
Another reader of the newspaper, Kita Chilaule, expressed her indignation [pt]:
I can't believe there aren't any ways to stop these poachers. I think they are not a bigger number than the guards but yes they have the protection of the local government even because it is clear there is complicity and corruption here. The destruction of eco-tourism heritage in this area is regrettable.
Those hunters, the majority are foreigners [and] cannot have more power of action than the Nationals. I ask whoever owns the rights to stop this practice of wildlife degradation.
Since 2006 the author of the blog Forever Pemba, Jaime Luis, has reported [pt] on conflicts concerning wildlife, especially elephants, in that region:
In recent times, the animals, especially elephants, are killing people, creating insecurity within communities, as well as being accused of fomenting - together with monkeys and wild pigs -, hunger, due to partially or completely destroying crops.
Criticizing the implementation [pt] of some of the “stagnation measures” of the “destruction” caused by the animals, promoted by local authorities, such as the training of community hunters, Luis comments on anews story [pt] published by the Notícias newspaper in 2007:
To sum up upon reading the text, one understands that the responsible authorities in Cabo Delgado, after presenting the elephants and other animals as dangerous enemies to human beings, will act as they say with a beatific tone, almost godly, not to say cynical
The website of WWF-Mozambique indicates [pt] that in 1999 the National Directorate of Forests and Wildlife from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development published the National Strategy of Elephant Management in Mozambique, with the definition of targets for the conservation of a population of around 18,000 african elephants living in the country. However, the execution of the convention, according to a report from September 2012, proves to be deficient [pt].
Written by Sara Moreira · Translated by Sara Moreira