According to WWF conservationists, 26 elephants have been slaughtered by armed men in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic.
BBC News reports that forest elephants have become a target for poaching gangs, with ivory poachers using a scientist's observation platform to shoot the animals.
The Dzanga-Ndoki Park is a World Heritage Site, located in the south-western corner of the Central African Republic, bordering Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.
WWF reports that their sources had counted at least 26 elephant carcasses, in and around the Bai, a large clearing where between 50 and 200 elephants would gather every day to drink nutrients from the sands. No elephants have been seen there since the shootings.
On Monday, WWF issued a warning that 17 armed individuals had entered the park and were heading for the Bai. By the time they left, WWF said that the Bai resembled an "elephant mortuary". Four of the elephants were believed to be calves, and local villagers had started taking meat off the carcasses. Sudanese ivory poachers have been blamed for the killings.
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