War Against Wildlife Poaching and Hunting
This week has been a busy week for conservationist where by on 10th August, we were celebrating World Lion Day and today 12th August we are celebrating World Elephant day.
It is sad that today we choose to speak on poaching and hunting which lately has been a common news item feature. Wildlife crime is sweeping the planet, with wildlife trafficking being rated as one of the world’s largest criminal industry.
High Target Species such as elephant and rhino are being hunted to extinction. These animals are the most difficult to protect, as poachers go to the most extreme lengths to kill them. If we can safeguard these animals, then the entire ecosystem would be protected.
Anti-poaching rangers form the first and last line of defence for nature. Without the right training, equipment, management and support they cannot defend the World’s natural heritage for future generations. Direct action on anti-poaching is a vital component of any successful conservation formula where poaching is a threat. Without the support of the rangers who risk their lives daily to meet this responsibility, then we have little hope for long-term preservation of the natural world.
Hwange's Iconic Lion Killed
Poaching of the elephant and other wildlife animals is not only a threat to the tourism sector of Kenya, but also endangers the heritage of our wild Jungle in Africa.The death of an “iconic” lion in Zimbabwe has prompted calls for an EU ban of the importing of lion trophies. The 13-year-old lion was a major tourist pull at the country's largest wildlife sanctuary. Wildlife enthusiasts say Cecil, possibly Hwange’s largest lion, was a favourite among visitors to Zimbabwe’s premier national park as he was extremely relaxed around safari vehicles. Cecil the lion was found headless and skinned after being shot with a bow and arrow.
Five Elephants Killed in Tsavo West
Poaching of elephants for ivory has increased dramatically in Kenya in recent years, due to the growing demand for the product in Asian markets where it is believed to be used for medicinal purposes. Elephants are believed to be under greater threat from poachers than lions.
Barley 2 weeks ago, Poachers killed five elephants in Tsavo West National Park. The carcasses were recovered by rangers the following morning — what appeared to be an adult female and her four offspring, their tusks hacked off.
In recent years, the poaching of elephants has increased exponentially because of the demand for ivory in Asia, where it's used for unproven medicinal purposes. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers killed more than 100,000 African elephants — a level of destruction that put the species on the road to extinction. Unlike many other animals, elephants mourn the death of their brethren, wrapping their trunks around the bones or carcasses of the deceased.
While the African lion population is also under threat, it is largely because their habitats are being destroyed by farmers and developers, not because the animals are hunted. Poaching has an enormous effect on the environment and the people living in wildlife inhabited there. Arguably, natives to such areas are poverty stricken thus deem to have no other choice other than poaching, not realising that eventually all the resources will be diminished.
Our goal is to work side by side with the anti-poaching teams to supply these people with conservation education and create alternate ways to support their families. For example, help them learn how to raise livestock and grow their own fruits, vegetables and grains. Through this most people will have a source of income and therefore decrease the number of wildlife hunted by poachers.
Basically, we must understand the importance of protecting these endangered animals, before they become extinct.