Man arrested with gorrila heads and limbs
Man arrested with gorilla parts fueled illegal wildlife exploitation by supplying poachers with cash and ammunition
BY TAH KELLY
YAOUNDE – Law enforcements officials in Cameroon have arrested a man with four gorilla heads and 16 limbs.
A team of 10 law enforcement officials and support partners made the arrest in the Center regional town of Nanga Eboko during a recent crackdown on wildlife trafficking.
It came after a lengthy investigation.
Four policemen helped in the arrest of the 33-year-old man who was described as one of the biggest traffickers in the area.
The man who is believed to be a members of a trafficking ring operating from Nanga Eboko was arrested as he tried to sell the gorilla parts.
Eco-guards and policemen were waiting when he arrived at the scene of his transaction and quickly surrounded him before he could escape.
He was found with numerous gorilla parts in a box. The suspect was promptly taken to a local wildlife office where a complaint report was written and he was later remanded in custody.
The operation was carried out with the collaboration of the judiciary and with technical assistance from LAGA, an organization that has been assisting Cameroon’s wildlife officials in investigating and carrying law enforcement operations against traffickers for over one decade.
Investigations had earlier revealed that the alleged trafficker has been illegally buying and selling wildlife parts, using an 800-litre capacity fridge installed in his home for preserving the parts.
The four gorilla heads and 16 limbs, obtained from the shooting of four gorillas were all fresh at the time of the operation. The 16 limbs represent the fore and hind limbs of the gorillas.
Wildlife officials further disclosed he had already been arrested four times but they failed to prosecute him as procedures warrant.
Investigations revealed he owns four motorbikes bought from proceeds from the sale of illegal.
His buyers come from some big towns around the area including Yaounde, Bertoua, Ebolowa and even from as far as Douala and he would supply the products straight from his home refrigerator.
Yebga Jean who is ranger and was part of the arresting team said “Cameroon has undertaken international commitments and the 1994 wildlife law has provisions to protect wildlife. The national wildlife resource is gravely under threats and we are charged with the responsibility to rigourously apply the law”.
Unnamed sources say he and some of his accomplices would ride the four motorbikes he owns to the banks of the River Sanaga where they would meet poachers who would come along on canoes stuffed with wildlife products. He would buy the products, provide the poachers with food and ammunition.