Residents of a village close to the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo slaughtered and ate an elephant that escaped the park. According to BBC, the elephant was slaughtered by residents in the village of Katwiguru.
Conservationist group Conserv Congo said the residents were “jubilant” about their capture and quoted them as saying it was “like manna falling from heaven for us.” In a tweet, the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) said it had not been established if the elephant was killed by rebels or villagers.
AFP news agency also reported that ICCN said two elephants had wandered out of the national park on Monday after “youths” damaged an electric barrier erected around the area. The incident is said to have happened several weeks ago. What happened to the second elephant is unknown.
Virunga is a popular national park that is situated in the center of a conflict zone, per BBC. The park is also located at the border with Rwanda and Uganda, and several militia groups operate there.
Rebel forces have been pushed out of the park through conservation initiatives. The park’s website states that its most prominent mammals include forest and savanna elephants, hippos, okapis, lions, and mountain gorillas.