Africa is the destination for people to visit the pyramids, go on safaris and to volunteer, but Africa is also a huge destination for poachers. Animal poaching is the illegal act of hunting, killing and, capturing animals. It is another example of greed over gratitude and this cruel act violates animal rights. Poaching isn’t a new issue and needs more attention. Why do people become poachers? What economic effects does it have? How big of a problem is it and how can we stop it?
Poaching is done for the profit of the hunter. Animals such as: the black rhino, African elephant, lions, Grevy’s Zebra, and the mountain gorilla are the most hunted. Rhinos are killed because their horns are believed to cure hangovers, impotence, fever and cancer according to the “African Wildlife Foundation”. Sadly the rhinos are really killed for no reason; these benefits have been proven false according to “11 Facts About Poaching Animals.” The elephant’s horns are hunted to make jewelry, utensils, trinkets, and religious figurines. Zebras, lions, and gorillas are all hunted for their fur. (“African Wildlife foundation”). Like many, I believe that these so called benefits are no reason to kill an animal. The issue, small or big, shouldn’t continue.
This problem is more widespread than many people think. Every single one of these animals that have mentioned so far is on the endangered species list. The black rhino population is down 97.6 %. 35,000 African elephants were killed last year. Lions are extinct in seven different countries. There are 2,000 Grevy’s zebras remaining and fewer than 900 Mountain Gorillas all according to the “African Wildlife Foundation.” This information is gut wrenching. The problem is huge and needs a huge response before it is too late. Unlike most problems, this one has two different ways to end. Poachers becoming rich and these animals becoming extinct or animals flourishing with poachers fined or imprisoned.
What can we do to make this problem end the right way? We have been educating the public and we have been protecting the wildlife. Yet things have seemed to have been getting worse. According to “Fox News” drones may be the next big thing to help protect wildlife from poachers. Drones or UAV’s are unmanned aerial vehicles. These vehicles are now being used to track poachers. When these drones find poachers they send data, such as the location of the poachers, to the nearest rangers. This relatively new technology will help rangers find and arrest poachers more easily.
Effects of poaching on African countries’ economies haven’t been researched as thoroughly as they should be. It seems that it is commonly over looked, but why? Poaching kills animals, and less animals means less tourism. Africa has used tourism to make money for many years and if tourism stops it could result in a crushing blow. Poaching is also costing Africa right now. Poaching is mainly done by organized crime, according to the “African Wildlife Foundation.” Organized crime can take tons of money to fight. If poaching comes to an end, African countries could save money because of the sudden drop in the need to enforce the issue.
Animal poaching kills animals for frivolous things and doesn’t get as much support as equally troubling issues. The issue isn’t getting better, according to do “11 Facts About Poaching Animals,” poaching has risen and these animals are being poached two per day. The introduction of drones could help the battle by allowing rangers to track poachers. The drones may have given hope to these animals, but it is your job to ensure their future. Like many issues, time is off the essence and everyday two animals will die from poachers unless helped by the public.
“Our inability to think beyond our own species, or to be able to co-habit with other life forms in what is patently a massive collaborative quest for survival, is surely a malady that pervades the human soul.”
― Lawrence Anthony
"Africa's Poaching Crisis – AWF." Africa's Poaching Crisis – AWF. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2015.
Chiaramonte, Perry. "How Drones Are Battling Animal Poachers in Africa." Fox News. FOX News Network, 12 Apr. 2015. Web. 02 May 2015.
"11 Facts About Poaching Animals." 11 Facts About Poaching Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2015.
Poaching: The Statistics. Digital image. Save The Rhino. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2015.
Press. Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones) Assayed to Fight Rhinoceros Poaching in Africa. Digital image. SAUS News. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2015.