Zambia Loses 144,000 Elephants To Poaching

Elephants crossing the Lower Zambezi River

Zambia has over the last 30 years or so lost about one hundred and forty four thousand (144, 000) elephants to poaching related activities.

This was disclosed in Lusaka today during a discussion forum on wildlife organised by US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz and US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) Program Officer for African Elephants and Rhino Programs Dr. Michelle Gadd.

Speaking during the discussion program, Dr. Gadd explained that in the year 1900 Africa had a population of about ten million elephants and that when the continent was achieving the Global Protection in 1989 the continent had about 500, 000 elephants down from ten million.

Dr. Gadd says as for Zambia, the country had an estimated 160, 000 elephants in 1981 but a recent survey by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has revealed that the country has about 16, 000 elephants representing a drop of about 90 percent.

In the case of Rhinos, Dr. Gadd says Zambia had 13, 000 black Rhinos which were depleted within three years.

She however says Zambia should be applauded for managing to bring back the species to a wild condition with the help of South Africa who donated Rhinos to North Luangwa National Park.

Dr. Gadd explains that it takes about US$3.5 million to bring back Rhino species to wild condition and about US$50, 000 to sell them.

Speaking at the same forum, US Ambassador to Zambia Erick Shultz expressed concern at the rate of poaching in Zambia.

Mr. Shultz says Zambia should focus on improving the tourism sector by sensibly looking after the wildlife.