On this #WorldElephantDay 2018, we have decided to release a report of our Visit to Idanre, Ondo State, Nigeria following a public outcry on the killing of an #Elephant by a hunter. 3 members of #TeamWildlifeAfrica went on that expedition. Enjoy the read and leave a comment.
The Elephant, the largest terrestrial mammal is a fascinating creature, they’re intelligent, family-oriented, and capable of feeling a wide range of deep emotions, from intense grief to joy bordering on elation, as well as empathy and stunning self-awareness. Taking into consideration all of that and much more, what’s not to love about Elephants? Still, countless of Elephants are brutally killed every year for their ivory by greedy poachers who then leave their carcasses to rot in the sun and by hunters for food and skin.
World Elephant day is a perfect time to find out more about these amazing animal and what we can do to preserve and protect them so they do not go into extinction like the Mammoth. How can you help? You can help by sharing awareness with people about how unique these animals are, why we should not hunt or poach them and the reason for us to preserve and protect them. You can volunteer with a local conservation NGO to save and conserve Elephants and you can also support conservation work by sponsoring or donation. When the Buying of ivory and Elephant meat stops, the killing can too.
We made the visit to Idanre from Akure on the 17th March 2018 around 10 a.m. The distance was less than 50 km.sq to get to our target area (Ajayinka). We actually obtained more audience and pieces of information from the bike men who took us to and also when coming back. The bike man that took us to the area where the Elephant was killed told us that hunting is the main source of survival and livelihood of the family of the hunter who killed the elephant. He mentioned that the father of the man that did the killing caught a live chimpanzee which he lived with till his death about 2 years ago. He went further to say that when this his father died, he killed the elephant to make a feast for about 14days for his burial. Also, the younger brother of this man is known for killing Buffalos, within Idanre.
We interviewed a few people because we are told many people had gone to town because it was a weekend. Of these few people, 4 persons testified to the fact that the elephant was actually killed and a man testified he was even oppurtuned to eat of the Elephant’s Meat. We could not meet with the actual hunter that killed the Elephant as report have it that he has gone into hiding, possibly because relevant government agencies have begun investigations into the matter and they seem aware that the killing was wrong.
This was the 3rd Elephant reported being killed in that community. The first 2 was a consequence of Human-Wildlife conflict. They claim Elephants attack people on their farmlands and the family mentioned above were invited to help them drive the elephants away and 2 were killed in the process. Apart from the Elephants, there was also testimonies of other animals around which include chimpanzees, bufallo, warthog being killed on a regular basis.
We also discovered a high exploitation of timber resources within the region and also the conversion of most forest areas to farmlands especially for Cocoa and banana plantation. The region actually was meant to be rainforest but currently it is more like a derived savanna.
From this expedition, we can say that the problem with these wildlife killings is the lack of conservation education among the community members and lack of alternative livelihoods. The people are dependent on natural resources which includes hunting, excessive timber exploitation, and voracious agricultural practices.
If you like to help us set up a Conservation Education specifically targeted at this community to change them from ‘Hunter’ to ‘Conservationist’, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking for partners to make a success of a few ideas we have in this regard. Together we can do so much more. Thank you.
This Article and Report was written by Aribasoye Joshua and he was supported in the expedition by Okerinu Paul and Oke Olajide Oluwaseun.
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