Ivory trafficker surrenders, offers to support anti-poaching fight
Christian Moka, who killed five elephants in a forest clearing inside Nki National Park in July 2017, gave himself up during a sting operation launched in the town of Moloundou on Cameroon’s borders with the Republic of Congo on September 23. According to rangers, Moka has wreaked havoc in protected areas in Cameroon and Congo for seven years.
Moka said he decided to abandon poaching because, “I am tired of always running away and abandoning my family. I have been in jail once for elephant poaching. I do not want to go to jail again. I wish to join the fight against poaching,” he told rangers during his arrest. Moka has been transferred to Yokadouma, where he might be tried.
Poachers forestalledMeanwhile, park rangers and soldiers from Cameroon have forestalled a mission by a gang of poachers targeting elephants in protected areas bordering Cameroon and Gabon. The action by the combined squad forced the poachers to flee to neighbouring Gabon through River Ayina abandoning a rifle, ammunition and a huge quantity of foodstuff.
The squad launched a sting operation from 18 to 22 September 2017, acting on a tip off. The poachers who were camped on the banks of River Ayina, jumped into the river abandoning a rifle (458), 42 munitions, an axe and machetes, and stimulants (marijuana and tramadol commonly known as “Tramol”).
Poaching gangs use the borders of Cameroon, Gabon, Central Africa Republic and the Republic of Congo, which serve as elephant corridors, to target the pachyderms. The South Region of Cameroon particularly the town of Djoum serves as major transit point for elephant tusks from the sub-region. However, recent joint operations by rangers from Cameroon and Gabon have contributed to stop the wanton killing of elephants.
“Collaboration between the conservation services of both countries with the support of the military is helping to reduce poaching of elephants,” states Gilles Etoga, Program Manager of WWF Jengi TRIDOM.
“We have decided to support the Gabonese in order to stop the poachers from reaching the elephants considering that elephants migrate from one country to another,” he adds.