An elephant poacher who killed more than 500 of the animals has been sentenced to 30 years of hard labour in the Congo Republic.
Mobanza Mobembo Gerard, known as Guyvanho, was sentenced for ivory trafficking and attempted murder of park rangers.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, the notorious poacher led hunts into the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park which killed more than 500 elephants since around 2008.
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.
Guyvanho’s sentencing 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 this week.