“With an estimated 22,000 African elephants illegally killed in 2012, we continue to face a critical situation. Current elephant poaching in Africa remains far too high, and could soon lead to local extinctions if the present killing rates continue. The situation is particularly acute in Central Africa where the estimated poaching rate is twice the continental average,” said John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General.
The poaching data was released at the African Elephant Summit in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital. The conference on elephants is being convened by the Botswana government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In September 2013 cyanide was used to kill more than 300 elephants in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park in the “worst single massacre in southern Africa for 25 years,” said the IUCN in a statement.