Criminals know to cover their tracks, but what if your tracks are in the sky above you? How do you rub out what flies free? You use an age-old technique for silencing witnesses–poison. According to a report out of Yale Environment 360, African elephant poachers have been poisoning vultures so that the scavenger birds flying over elephant carcasses won’t give away the poachers’ location to authorities.
“Poachers will kill an elephant and poison the carcass to remove vultures from the environment,” André Botha of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, told Yale. “It’s rampant in East Africa right now.” Rhinoceros poachers are also guilty of vulture poisoning. Rhinoceros horns, though not as valuable as ivory, are believed to have medicinal purposes in the Far East.