In what would have been an idyllic scene not uncommon in Gabon, an elephant crosses a savanna near the coast. A closer look reveals a snare constricted around the left foreleg, causing severe pain, infection, limited mobility, immeasurable suffering, and death in the coming weeks. Snaring animals of any kind is illegal in Gabon.
Snaring elephants is often retaliation by plantation owners that have slashed and burned elephant habitat to plant crops like bananas, maize, and manioc. Many of these plantation owners are absentee, working in villages and towns during the week. They return to their plantations on the weekend to find their crops raided by elephants.