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Needless Slaughter of Endangered Species: Borno LG Chairman, soldiers brag about killing elephant

Endangered Species Borno LG Chairman penalties

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Needless Slaughter of Endangered Species: Borno LG Chairman, soldiers brag about killing elephant

On Monday, December 18, 2023, a video obtained by Neptune Prime showed the chairman of the Kala Barge Local Government Area of Borno State, Zanna Jabu, together with men wearing military uniforms, shooting and killing an elephant.

In the video, the uniformed men fired several close-range bullets at the disoriented and defenceless animal, which showed no sign of aggression towards the group.

Despite the elephant’s apparent resolve to live, the barrage of bullets foiled its attempt to stand back up on its forelegs, causing it to collapse to the ground.

If animals are capable of becoming confused, the expression on this one appeared to be of someone asking, “Why, please, why?”

 

The defenceless animal stared at the men as they rained bullets on it.

 

With fear and shock visible in its eyes, even though majestic in its gait, the bullets were rained on it, ceaselessly and unmercifully until it fell on its front legs, kissing the ground and dying.

Subsequently, the chairman came up to the lifeless animal and expressed his happiness and pride at their victory. Speaking in Hausa mixed with Kanuri, he claimed that his group pursued the elephant to kill it because they believed the elephants were destroying their crops.

He said, “I am happy with this feat we have achieved today, we set out from Gamboru to accomplish this ‘feat’. We came prepared with our cartridges and all the necessary equipment, and we were fortunate to kill two.

“If this kind of effort has been made and you kill two of them ten times, by now things would have been normal because of the destruction they do to us. We are grateful for this day and proud of everyone who put forth the effort,” he said.

 

Chairman of Kala Barge LGA in Borno State celebrates killing an endangered specie.

 

What the Borno State local government chairman did is illegal according to international and federal laws on endangered species and the fact that elephants are in danger of being extinct in Nigeria is obvious.

The deceased animal may be a male that would have lived to father more offspring or it can be an already pregnant female elephant. Elephants typically live for 60–70 years if they are not harmed as was done in the video.

The number of African elephants has decreased from an estimated 12 million a century ago to about 400,000 today, and another has been needlessly lost once more.

The African Forest Elephants are listed as critically endangered species and penalties are imposed on offenders found killing these endangered animals.

 

Vulnerable elephant killed in Borno forest.

 

The National Park Services Act 1999 punishes hunting endangered, protected, or prohibited species or hunting a mother of a young animal or large mammal species in a national park with imprisonment of three months and up to five years, with no option of fine.

Similarly, the Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Act (1985) which focuses on the protection and management of Nigeria’s wildlife, specifically vulnerable and endangered species, states that the hunting, capture or trade of an animal species threatened with extinction (endangered) is prohibited.

Under the Yankari protection law, killing protected animals attracts between three and 18 months in jail, with the option of fines.

These elephants fall in the class of the “endangered, protected” because they seasonally traverse the forest between Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State, through Buni Yadi in Yobe State, bursting through the Sambisa and ending up as far as the Central African Republic, in search of water and foliage.

Therefore, they move yearly to Nigeria during the rainy season, following waterways that pass through Gamboru/Ngala and Kala-Balge LGAs because of their mega-herbivores nature and the need to be near available food and water and back again during the dry season.

The chairman of the local government ought not to have wasted such a vulnerable animal, whether it was out of ignorance or for a trophy hunt.

It is not a good idea to put elephants down when they ruin crops; instead, the Chairman should have employed other alternative strategies to get the animal out of human habitat by reporting to the wildlife conservation in the state and if there was none, to the Ministry of Forestry or the Ministry of Environment.

Also, complaints could have been made at the Maiduguri Zoo, Shehu Kyarimi Park, which has only about three elephants.

Elephants are often wary of human settlements, and for years, they have been pushed back or killed because of the increase in human inhabitants. However, since the start of the horrific Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, which resulted in over 2 million people fleeing their homes to refugee camps or urban centres leaving much of the rural settlements emptied, that gave some breathing space to the elephants.

Watch video of the needless killing below;

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