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Chad’s Zakouma: A National Park Restored

Zakouma National Park in Chad is one of Africa’s most remarkable stories of transformation. Between 2002 to 2010, 95% of the parks’ elephants were poached – almost 4,000 were slaughtered for their ivory, and poachers would often take out multiple family units at the same time. Not only were they destroying the parks wildlife, they were wreaking havoc on local people too. In 2010, African Parks, on invitation by the Chadian Government, signed a long-term agreement to manage Zakouma and stop the bloodshed. The first step was to overhaul law enforcement, but it wasn’t for the faint of heart. Today, Zakouma National Park, situated in southern Chad, has become a refuge for some of the most important wildlife populations in Central Africa.