Elephant poaching is a huge problem in Africa with 20,000 elephants being killed per year for their tusks. What compounds this is when decision makers and leaders, who are meant to help curb this problem, are accused of involvement.
Police say the former mayor of Zimbabwe’s tourist hotspot, Victoria Falls, has been arrested after being found in possession of nine elephant tusks. Two others were arrested with him. Police were acting on a tip-off when they swooped on them moving tusks from a car.
Sifiso Mpofu was elected mayor in 2013 and lost to an opposition candidate last year. He has been charged with illegal possession of elephant ivory.
Elephants tusks are in high demand in Asian countries and are used for jewellery and as ornaments.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Africa’s elephant population has fallen by 110,000 over the past decade to just 415,000 animals. The World Wildlife Fund says there is an average of one elephant killed every 25 minutes.