The increased demand for ivory in Asia has enticed the poachers into the densely forested central African country to kill the jumbos for their tusks.
Gabon is home to about half of the world’s roughly 100,000 remaining forest elephants.
But a study conducted by the government in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society found that two-thirds of the forest elephants in the park have been slaughtered since 2004.
Gabon’s president says the poachers typically use rifles to kill the animals, then hack off the tusks with chainsaws.
It’s believed many of the poachers are from neighboring Gabon, where strict monitoring to protect that country’s dwindling elephant population is encouraging them to look to areas with less security.