After Poacher-Free Decade, Elephant Toll in Kruger Rockets from 2 to 19

Tragically, South Africa’s elephants appear to have become the latest target of poachers, with the Kruger National Park announcing on Friday that at least 19 elephant have been killed there this year after a decade where only two were poached, both only last year.

Elephant Poaching South Africa

Kruger spokesman William Mabasa said the majority of the elephants were poached in the northern part of the park. Two elephants were poached at the beginning of the year and then three in July, two in August, seven in September and five in October.

“We are saddened by the latest developments,” he said.

The first confirmed elephant poaching incident in Kruger in over 10 years occurred in May 2014, in the Pafuri section of the park.

“Given the situation in the rest of the continent pertaining to widespread poaching of elephants, we cannot allow this destabilization of our keystone species to continue further,” Mabasa said. “We are confident that the dedication and efforts which our rangers and partners in the security sector have displayed towards the fight against rhino will prevail over this latest problem.”