It was only last March when my despair over the slaughter of 89 elephants in Chad turned to nearly blind rage. 89! In one single night! I was pissed at everybody and everything, but mostly for being a reluctant member of the awful human race. And I felt helpless that I couldn’t do a thing to stop this African genocide from my suburban, safe, clean, way-more-than-I deserve home in suburban, safe, clean, southern California. I couldn’t sleep that night due to my mind’s endless loop of horrific Grand Guignol images of pregnant mothers and baby elephants having their faces hacked off (sorry) for their tusks (see above photo). I even daydreamed of becoming the Lone White Park Ranger in Chad, out to protect the remaining elephants from the evil, scheming, killing human race and avenging the murder of their family members. I went back to my humdrum job the next day, feeling even more impotent, resolved that all I could do from my humble status is to help educate on the subject, donate to the cause (http://www.ifaw.org/united-states), and hope that Asia stops its new-money, yuppie-fied, ivory-demanding ways.
Well, thankfully, all that sadness, rage, desire for revenge (all a useless waste of energy, really) — and hope — pays off. Idriss Hassan (or vice versa, I’ve seen it reported both ways), also known as Gargaf, the ringleader of this heartless, soulless poaching gang, has been caught and paraded before the media. (Yet, I still can’t find a photo of this specimen.)
Officials say that Idriss ran a crew of around 50 poachers. In total, Chad’s Environment Minister, Mahamat Issa Halikimi, says that Idriss has been behind the slaughter of nearly 200 elephants since August 2012, including an incident where five wildlife rangers were killed.
So let’s not forget that five human rangers were killed during an October 2012 raid in Cameroon too. That makes him guilty of the murder of humans too, should such crimes bring the hammer of justice down on him more swiftly and harshly (as if the mere butchering of nearly the entire central African elephant population isn’t enough). And he merits no presumption of innocence from me — he was captured while transporting 124 elephant tusks in his possession. Like possessing child porn, that’s a strict liability crime in my book.
“Idriss Hassan has operated since 2011 in the Salamat and Guera regions and near the borders between Chad, Cameroon and Central African Republic.”
Chad should hold a big show trial, find him guilty and then publicly execute him for crimes against his country, his people and its wildlife.
The capture of Hassan Idriss is a major step forward in the fight against the gangs of poachers that roam around central Africa. As the countries start to come together and develop regional plans and actions against poachers hopefully Idriss will be just the first of the poachers to be bought to justice.
Let’s hope so. The elephants deserve better.
- Poacher behind March slaughter of 89 elephants captured in Chad (wildlifenews.co.uk)
- Chad arrests suspected member of elephant slaughter gang (news.terra.com)
- One Less Monster In The World Today (walkingwiththealligators.wordpress.com)
- GRAPHIC PHOTOS: Massive Elephant Slaughter Strikes Sanctuary (huffingtonpost.com)