Five poachers have been arrested due to the killing of 11 elephants that were poisoned with cyanide at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
Read More: Rare Pygmy Elephants 'Poisoned' In Borneo
Three other elephants were also found dead from cyanide poison near Kariba in the northern part of the country within the last two weeks, but no suspects are in custody for those killings.
Cyanide is used often in Zimbabwe’s mining industry, making it fairly easy to obtain and the poison has been used in mass elephant killings in previous years, according to Buzzfeed.
In the latest slaughter, the poachers reportedly laced oranges and salt licks with cyanide and gave it to the elephants. Some of the carcasses were found with their tusks still intact, indicating that the poachers were probably interrupted during the process.
Zimbabwe is known for its large elephant population, making it a gold mine for poachers involved in the international ivory trade.
The African elephant — which is the largest animal on earth with herds wandering through about 37 countries in Africa — is considered a “vulnerable” species, according to wildlife.org. This means they’re on the fast track to extinction, a fate than can be largely attributed to poaching.
All five of the suspects in custody for the recent elephant slaughter were residents staying with relatives in Hwange’s main camp, US News reports.
The ivory trade is nothing new, but it's still shocking to see the unfathomable evil this business incites. How does anyone think it's okay to wipe out herds of animals in the most inhumane ways for frivolous uses?
WARNING: The Image Below Is Graphic In Nature And May Be Disturbing To Some