Will 2016 Be a Breakthrough in the Fight to Save Elephants?
Signs of hope in East Africa include high-profile court cases, on-the-ground results, and a new president nicknamed the Bulldozer.
Just outside Arusha High Court in northern Tanzania one morning in November, the five men waited for the magistrate to call their names. All had been charged with killing elephants. This was the fourth preliminary hearing for a suspected head poacher and his accomplices since their arraignment more than a year ago.
The younger ones appeared almost cocksure, smiling and joking with their girlfriends as if they had nothing to worry about. The eldest of the pack, Gidabijo Gidabung’eta, a middle-aged man with his head shaved clean, sat in silence on a stone bench.
Just the previous month, Gidabijo and his crew had posted bond up to $20,000 in cash and the title deed to a home worth an estimated $60,000. The