In 2005 the Chadian government invited Fay and his team to make a dry season census of elephants in Zakouma National Park. The complete count yielded more than 3,800 individuals. But a follow-up survey in 2006 yielded only 3,020 animals, suggesting that either a large herd was missed in the count—or that hundreds of animals had possibly been killed in a year's time.
In a follow-up wet-season survey, Fay and his team found a hundred poached carcasses over an eight-day period. "Even for someone who's been around for 20 years watching elephants be killed in that area, that's a lot of elephants," Fay said of the massacre.
This is not the first time Fay has encountered elephant massacres or poachers. In 1996 the biologist came across a slaughter of 300 elephants north of Odzala National Park in the Northern Republic of Congo.