26 elephants killed in Central African Republic



Moscow: Suspected ivory poachers have slaughtered 26 elephants in the Dzanga Bai reserve in the Central African Republic, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said.

The reserve is known as the "village of elephants".

"At least 26 elephants were massacred in the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the Central African Republic, after 17 heavily armed suspected poachers entered the site on May 6," the WWF said in a statement.

Local residents have started taking meat from the carcasses at the site, which has been described now as an "elephant mortuary", wildlife officials said.

Dzanga Bai is a unique site where between 50 and 200 forest elephants congregate every day to drink mineral salts present in the sands.

Wildlife officials have warned that more elephants could be killed by poachers. The suspected poachers are believed to be part of a rebel force that seized power in the violence-ridden country in March.

IANS