Four persons suspected to poachers are to be arraigned before court for allegedly killing an elephant in a company others ostensibly moving from Gbelle Resorce Reserve in Ghana to Zainga Reserve in Burkina Faso.
On 23rd May 2020 and around 12:45am, a joint security body comprising the Military, BNI, Police and Wild Life Division stormed a farming community called Vamboi were suspected killers of the elephant reside. In all 12 persons were picked for questioning. After screening, four persons have finally been settled on as prime suspects in killing of the elephant.
The four suspects include: Mr Salia Jiatia,Mr.Mahama Wisikandei,Karim Bommie and another person who were each picked up in their homes in a joint operation by the security after a through investigations.
This sad and barbaric incident happened somewhere in 13Th April 2020 when a distress call was made to the Wild Life Division of the Forestry Commission office in Tumu on the movement of stray elephants around Tarsaw-Bugublle communities all in Sissala East Municipal.
Following this, before personnel from the Wild Life Division got to the scene, there were no traces of the elephants and news later got to them that, one of the elephant has been butchered by poachers. It took three days of investigations to locate the carcass the elephant.
Following this, a full scale investigation was launched by the Ghana Police to unravel the perpetrators of the crime.
Briefing the media in Tumu,the Dvisional Police Commander, ASP Kumpeh disclosed that, the four suspects will be professed with charges for killing the protected animals. He responded to a question on why the swoop in the community by saying, the method deployed by the joint security apparatus was necessary because they had received hints of mob attack from the community members.
Exhibits such as the tail of an elephant suspected to be the one killed, guns were picked as part of the operation. He also displayed to the media two tusks of an elephant dumped at the Bugubelle police Station by an unknown person or persons. It was made known to the media that suspect were on a police enquiry bail but have being reporting as stipulated.
The park manager, Dr.Nana Owusu Ansah expressed his heart felt gratitude to all security bodies who took part in the operation. He has vowed to pursue to case to its end so as to serve as deterrents to other poachers as the reserve has being suffering from the activities of poachers and chain saw operators. This he said is contributing to their inability to have the game watched by visitors as it is in Mole National Park.
He espoused that, leaving the reserve unharmed by these two activities for five years will make the reserve a very rich in game, wonderful and breathtaking place to visit. He reiterated his outfit’s resolve to continue sensitizing community members on the need to preserve wild life and also asking for their collaborative efforts to make the park attractive to tourist. Dr.Nana Owusu Ansah admonished community members to engage in alternative means of livelihood other than poaching.
In his concluding remarks, he appealed to visitors to explore the Gbelle Reserve and have a feel of nature and also suggested community members organizing a festival to always welcome these migratory elephants as the move every year from April to August.
The Gbelle Resource Reserve was established in 1975.Geographically, the reserve was established in the short-grass -savannah zone.
Gbele Resource Reserve is the only wildlife protected area in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The reserve spans through One Municipal and three Districts assemblies in the Upper West Region: Sisaala East Municipal,Sissala West ,Wa East and Daffiama-Busie-Issah.
The reserve is reputed for its large herds of Roan Antelopes, Warthogs, Kob and Waterbuck, which form the main attractions. Specifically, the south-western portion in particular has been identified as a major concentration area for these species of animals.
the Reserve forms part of the migratory route for the transit Elephants and other large species of mammals that move between the Nazinga Game Ranch in Burkina Faso and Mole National Park further south.
During the dry season the water gathers into long perennial pools in the deeper portions, which have been proposed for sporting-fishing and boat-riding.
The natural attractions, combined with the aesthetic landscapes offer tourists a diversity of tourist products such as, game-viewing, wilderness safari experience, as well as butterflies and bird-watching.
This Reserve being the second biggest natural reserve to Mole National Park has in its package, the following but not limited to:
Warthogs, Hartebeest, Kobs, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Black and white Colobus Monkey, Stripe Jackal, Porcupines, Baboons, Buffalos, Royal Pythons, Crocodiles, Bird Viewing, Colorful Butterflies, Elephants and Lions.