Yes, very sad, and also very organized. Taken out of the park by helicopter? That's got to be a little more than simple poachers. I would be interested to find out what the black market is like for elephant ivory. I know it's expensive, but is it worth renting/fueling a helicopter to retrieve?
Hopefully they will be able to stop whoever is doing it. Over there, they don't mess around with the poachers. I wouldn't be surprised to see them shoot down the chopper or something if they actually see it in action...
That is too bad that some people have to resort to killing the magnifigent animals in a way like that. It does appear that these guys are well funded in what they do to be able to air lift them out of there. To poach an animal like that takes some serious you know what. That is alot of animal to have to take care of and take care of quick. I am sure animals can spoil pretty quickly in Africa. This has gotto run pretty deep and alot of people involved to pull it off...hopefully they can catch these guys before they do way more damage than they already have.
That certainly would make a headline. I think that all they take of the elephants are the tusk's. Everything else stays behind to rot. If you think about it, I'd bet there's a ton of poaching we never hear about going on all over the world. Some for animal parts in demand and some for food.
Never having puts boot tracks on the ground in Africa I have to rely on the observation of others but it seems like the most successful poaching whether for elephants or other species is in the "totally protected" areas where legitimate hunting is prohibited. Elephant polulations in areas seriously managed for hunting appear to be at or near habitat capacity while non hunted areas are still in the threatened or endangered categories.
Add to that the appearent low value given to human life that exists in many areas of the dark continent, where entire villages can be threatened with annihilation for not aiding in organized poaching and where local governments seem to if not support then ingore organized poaching activities. The knee jerk reaction of the typical uninformed activist groups is to band together against hunting when a rational examination of the situation would and should have them supporting legal managed hunting.
Try to put your tree stand in a tree with plenty of background cover, keep the prevailing winds for that time of the year to your face, and take care of those pesky squeaks and creaks your stand may have developed while sitting in the shed. A good treestand lube can be made by heating petroleum jelly until it reaches a liquid form. Some hunters have reported success by including a cover scent in this mixture before applying it to their stands.