The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has threatened to prosecute those involved in the killing of elephants and other protected spices across the country.
FDA Deputy Managing Director for Administration and Finance, Benjamin Tennessee Plewon,speaking following the end of a fact-finding mission in Grand Cape Mount County on the alleged killing of a hunter by an elephant said those involved will face the full weight of the law.
Director Plewon headed a five-man wildlife experts from FDA to Grand Cape mount recently to conduct an on-the spot investigation into the cause of the death of an elephant hunter in the county a fortnight ago.
It can be recalled that a hunter was reportedly killed by an elephant in Grand Cape Mount while two of his surviving colleagues were arrested by Rangers and officers of the FDA in collaboration with the Liberia National police.
Mr. Plewon disclosed the law has been passed, and awareness carried out that, anyone who harms or kills protected species such as elephants, chimpanzee, etc. will face 15- year jail sentence or pay a fine of USD $5,000.00.
He noted that the case in point will not be taken lightly by the FDA management and stressed that those arrested will be transferred to Monrovia for prosecution to serve as deterrence.
“Elephants don’t easily harm humans, except where it is harmed or hurt by humans,” the FDA deputy chief pointed out. He advised the hunters and citizens to observe and respect wildlife law that govern and protect the animals.
The two accused surviving hunters, Moses Dennis and Larmine Selman reportedly accompanied their colleague in the forest to set trap, at which time they heard their colleague yelling and calling for help as he was being attacked.
According to them, they immediately hid themselves and later went to the victim’s rescue and took him to the Varguaye Town clinic, from where he was later referred to the Bomi County Hospital.
The victim later died while being transferred to the Bomi Hospital. The other hunters were arrested by Rangers and officers of the FDA in collaboration with and the Liberia National police. Following investigation, they were turned over to the Magisterial Court in Lofa Bridge for prosecution.
According to the Paramount chief of Weajue, upon his return from Monrovia recently he got complaints that elephant had attacked and killed a man from a village called, Kpelleh Town. The Chief said he immediately requested the leadership from kpelleh Town to assemble at the District headquarters and from his investigation, those who were involved with the Human- Elephants conflict, are not residents of the District (strangers), so as a chief, he placed a fine on the two Elders who were hosting the culprits in the Town further mandated that no inhabitant of the District must go in the bush until the issue can be resolved.
The team later droved to Vargauye Town, where the Paramount chief had earlier finef Town Chiefs and the Youth chairman for giving four thousand Liberian Dollars to bring the wounded victim to Tubmanburg, Bomi County without his consent.
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