Conservationists are warning that elephant meat is now flooding the markets in villages near a famed wildlife reserve in Central African Republic.

The reports of increased elephant slaughter are coming a month after rebels overthrew the president in the highly volatile country.

WWF said Thursday that elephant poaching is on the increase in Central African Republic and there is a fear that the poverty and insecurity will only further fuel poaching for ivory.

The Dzanga-Sangha reserve in the rainforests of southwestern Central African Republic has been home to more than 3,400 forest elephants.

Bas Huijbregts, head of policy for WWF's campaign against poaching in Central Africa, said it's impossible to know for sure how many elephants have been killed because patrols have been suspended in the area.