The success follows a £23,000 fundraising campaign in the name of Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant who was abused by handlers
An army of anti-poaching patrols funded by Sunday Mirror readers has saved 100 elephants in its first year.
The rangers are at the frontline in the battle to stop elephants in the West African country of Burkina Faso from being slaughtered for their tusks, which are then sold to fund international terror plots.
Will Travers, of the Born Free Foundation which runs the team, said: “The Sunday Mirror support has been invaluable.
Not only have the rangers been able to access areas never before patrolled, they have arrested poachers and destroyed their camps. This is a huge step forward.”
The success follows a £23,000 fundraising campaign in the name of Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant who was abused by handlers.
In the year before Anne’s Army began patrolling, 106 elephants were killed and none of the perpetrators was caught. In the year since, just seven animals have been killed and seven people have been arrested.
The Sunday Mirror teamed up with the Born Free Foundation after Anne was rehomed to Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire.
We donated your money to a new project in Park W, a conservation area covering parts of Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger.
At the time there were fewer than 5,000 West African elephants left in the park, and poaching was rife. The poachers would hack out tusks using chainsaws while the elephants were still alive.
Your money was used to increase the number of patrols and provide essential equipment. It has also paid for uniforms, as well as training for village volunteers to join the rangers.
It all comes at a time when experts this week warned that elephants in central Africa could be extinct in as little as 10 years if the poaching crisis isn’t averted.
Mr Travers added: “It is critical that we do even more to protect these forgotten animals. If we don’t act, we seriously risk losing these incredible animals for ever.”