Mobanza Mobembo Gerard, AKA Guyvanho, led hunts in Nouabale-Ndoki park since 2008 and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of over 500 elephants aswell as other animals.
Gerard, a Congolese national, was sentenced to 30 years hard labour by a court in the country’s capital, Pointe-Noire.
He was convicted of not only ivory trafficking on the elephants but for also the attempted murder of numerous park rangers who had tried to catch him in the act.
His trial and sentencing last week marked the first criminal conviction of a wildlife trafficker in the Congo Republic.
The sentence ‘sends an extremely strong message that wildlife crime will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted at the highest levels,’ WCS regional director Emma Stokes said in a statement on Monday.
The attempted murder charges against Guyvanho were connected to a 2019 incident when his poacher group allegedly fired at and wounded members of a ranger patrol in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, WCS said.
The 4,000 square mile rainforest of the park is home to thousands of rare forest elephants, which were only confirmed to be a separate species from the larger African savannah elephant in 2010.
The area is also home to extensive research by scientists on how to fight the ebola virus.
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