The police have arrested four hunters for allegedly killing an elephant in the Gbele Game Reserve, in the Sissala East municipality, Upper West Region.
They allegedly killed the elephant and dumped its tusks behind the Bugubelle Police Station.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Gbelle Kumpe, the Municipal Police Commander, confirmed the arrest to the GNA.
He said, “The police received a report from the Forestry Commission that an elephant was killed and on May 20, 2020, and after investigation, we carried out a raid and 12 persons were arrested and a search conducted revealed the tail of the elephant and other body parts as well as the retrieval of three guns from them.”
DSP Kumpe indicated that the four suspects, who were currently on police enquiry bail, would be taken to Wa for prosecution if their dockets were ready.
He said the lack of cooperation from the public was disturbing adding, “there is low cooperation from the public and that is the lifestyle of some of the people here. They have the habit of harbouring criminals and urged all to support the police”.
DSP Kumpe said “there is no arrest of any minor or member of any family except hunters, who killed the elephant”.
The Park Manager of the Gbele Reserve, Dr Owusu Ansah, in an interview with GNA, said, “It was in connection with the killing of a ten-year-old elephant whose ivory market value could be $10,000.00, which motivated the poachers to kill the young elephant.”
He said a kilo of the ivory was about 2,000 dollars and the ivory recovered was about 20 kilos and that the elephant was about ten years old.
“For anybody to kill an elephant the motivation will be to get the ivory sold, which is very valuable,” Dr Ansah added.
He also revealed that “Elephant hunting had been banned since 1989, and in the past, Ghana had more elephants than Burkina Faso according to literature, but we have made the place inhabitable for them due to attacks and we have chased them all away”.
Sissala area remains the route of elephants into the Nazinga Forest Reserve in Burkina Faso, and every year they enter Gbele Game Reserve, and hunters kill some of them.