Liberia: Hunter arrested over killing of four elephants

May 3, 2019 | News

APA News

Wardens of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) in Sinoe County have confirmed the arrest and handing over to the Liberia National Police of a hunter. The hunter, identified as Saturday Jarwee, 60, is accused of killing four elephants in the Sapo National Park about 50 kilometres from Greenville City in Sinoe County, southeastern Liberia.

FDA Wild Life Manager Abednego Gbarway, told reporters that the endangered species were killed in March in the Jleepo Forest around an area called Nelson Village and was discovered while park rangers were on a regular patrol.

Jarwee has denied killing any elephant. He is currently detained at the Greenville Palace of Correction awaiting court trial.

FDA’s Gbarway however said his men had discovered four dead elephants, and apprehended Jarwee as a suspect after applying “our professional technique and experience to identify the doer of the act.”

“By law; if anyone kills wildlife illegally, that person, when adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction, can be sentenced to four or five years in prison or be fined an amount of US$5,000,” he said.

An act of hunting down such animals contravenes Section 11 of the National Wild Life Conservation and Protected Area Management Law of 2016, Garway explained.

Some residents of Nelson Village told reporters following the arrest of Jarwee that he has been hunting in the forest since the 1980s and has always targeted wild animals.

The Sapo National Park in Sinoe County is Liberia’s largest protected area of rain forest and contains the second-largest area of primary tropical rain forest in West Africa after Taï National Park in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire.

Agriculture, construction, fishing, hunting, human settlement, and logging are prohibited in the park.

It is located in the Upper Guinean forest ecosystem, a biodiversity hotspot that has “the highest mammal species diversity of any region in the world,” according to Conservation International, and in the Western Guinean lowland forests eco-region, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s eco-regions classification scheme.

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