Poachers killed at least 86 elephants, including 33 females and 15 calves, last week in Chad, according to conservation groups as reported by Reuters. It is the worst recorded elephant slaughter since February of 2012, when more than 300 elephants were found dead in Cameroon.
"The poachers killed pregnant females and all the calves," said Celine Sissler-Bienvenu of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "Even if the conditions were right, which they are not, it would take more than 20 years for this population to recover."
Officials found the carcasses near the border with Cameroon. It is believed poachers on horseback killed the animals with AK-47s and removed their tusks with hacksaws.
The animals often migrate between countries in Central Africa during the dry season. Estimates of elephant numbers in the region have declined from 150,000 to as low as 2,000 over the past 30 years, according to The Guardian.