World

Mozambique: Scouts with little air support struggle to stop poachers in vast, remote park

In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 handout photo supplied by the Wildlife Conservation Society, (WCS) WCS members inspect the scene where a poached elephant lays dead in the Niassa Reserve, Mozambique, after being shot dead by poachers with an AK-47.  The recent arrests of six suspected poachers in the vast reserve is some rare good news in a country that has long been seen as lacking the will and resources to stem the slaughter of elephants and other species under threat. (AP Photo/Wildlife Coversation Society International-Alastair Nelson) MANDATORY CREDIT  THIS IMAGE MAY ONLY BE USED FOR 14 DAYS FROM TIME OF TRANSMISSION: NO ARCHIVES: NO LICENSING.

In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 handout photo supplied by the Wildlife Conservation Society, (WCS) WCS members inspect the scene where a poached elephant lays dead in the Niassa Reserve, Mozambique, after being shot dead by poachers with an AK-47. The recent arrests of six suspected poachers in the vast reserve is some rare good news in a country that has long been seen as lacking the will and resources to stem the slaughter of elephants and other species under threat. (AP Photo/Wildlife Coversation Society International-Alastair Nelson) MANDATORY CREDIT THIS IMAGE MAY ONLY BE USED FOR 14 DAYS FROM TIME OF TRANSMISSION: NO ARCHIVES: NO LICENSING.  (The Associated Press)

The recent arrests of six suspected poachers on a vast wildlife reserve in Mozambique are seen by conservationists as rare good news in a country long seen as lacking the will and resources to stem the slaughter of elephants and other species under threat.

The poaching ring had been operating in the Niassa National Reserve, which is twice the size of South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park, where the rhino population has been hit hard by poachers, many of whom cross over from Mozambique.

The Sept. 7 detentions in the southern African nation followed nearly a year of investigative work, illustrating the challenges of policing rugged areas where armed poachers hike on expeditions that often last two weeks and sometimes kill elephants with single shots targeting vital organs.