YOLAY, Nimba – A herd of elephants has reportedly been spotted in Yolay New Town in Lower Nimba. Residents are living in fear after an elephant passed through the town and headed for the creek at which they fetch their drinking water.
Residents of the area have been reporting that the elephants have broken through storerooms and damaging harvests.
The reports prompted the Forestry Development Authority’s Lower Nimba outpost to launch a search to verify the information. The agency declared that at least five elephants were moving about in the reserved Gbi and Doru forest.
“We don’t know where the elephants came from, but I think the news is good news for Nimba County,” Sam N. Wehyee, commissioner of Doe Administrative District, told reporters after he made an assessment of the site where the elephants were discovered. “I think Nimba County is about to host thousands of people who will want to come as tourists to see these elephants.”
Wehyee said excessive hunting of the elephants drove them out of the area, “but they have now come back after 40 years because no one is hunting them again.” He also warned residents against hunting the elephants.
“We don’t want to see the parts of those elephants in the market for sale,” Wehyee said. “If we catch anyone killing these elephants and other wild animals, you are going to go to jail for 25 years.”
Wehyee said the elephants could be a tourist attraction if their population was allowed to grow. “This can be another source of income for the new government that is coming to take power,” he said.
Jerry Myers of Radio Tappita contributed to this article. Featured photo by Martin Heigan