Mozambican wildlife reserve wipes out elephant poaching thanks to US support group

A U.S. wildlife support group working with the Mozambican government has become arguably the first in Africa to successfully clamp down on elephant poaching, while other southern African countries are struggling to cope with culling and hunting of wild animals.

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced that not a single elephant has been poached in the last year in Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve. Only eight years ago, 11,000 elephants roamed the massive park – at 16,000 square miles it’s larger than Switzerland. But organized gangs of poachers cut down close to 7,500 elephants in the park, until WCS stepped in. Now the population is estimated at 4,000 and increasing.

In South Africa, so-called canned lion farming and hunting continues to come under fire. Between 8,000 and 12,000 captive lions are being bred for the bullet, claims Pippa Hankinson, director of The Blood Lions campaign.

The lions are often kept in cramped enclosures – and either positioned in a trapped situation so they can be shot by trophy hunters, or killed to be sold to Asian buyers who believe their bones have medicinal qualities.

Hankinson was so appalled by the practice that she produced an award-winning documentary “Blood Lions”. She told Fox News that the industry “has no conservation value, is tarnishing South Africa’s conservation reputation and tourism image, and that efforts should be made to shut the industry down.”

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