In Africa poaching is sadly a common occurrence. Poaching is the illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals. All animals, including humans, have come from the same ancestor. All animals are of equal importance in the world. We cannot function without animals. Animals cannot function without humans. Just as children require the love and support of their parents, animals require human’s protection and love.
Sometimes people think that hunters are masculine and ‘true men.’ However, a true man respects the animal world and wants to protect the environment. It is looked down upon to sell elephants tusks around the world.
THE EFFECTS OF POACHING
Elephants, rhinos and other famous African animals may be gone within our lifetime. There are many sad facts about animals that are harmed by poaching. The population of black rhinos have decreased by 97% since 1960. 35 000 African elephants were killed last year. The beautiful lion has gone extinct in 7 countries. Deadly viruses can break out by eating wild meat. These wild animals are often infected with deadly human diseases. The 1990 ebola outbreak in Gabon was started by eating apes that were infected by ebola.
WHY DO POACHERS POACH?
Animals are only killed for their body parts such as tusks. Sometimes rhino horns are sold for medicine. However it has been proven that they cure no disease. The poachers get a lot of money from selling these body parts. This money then pays more poachers to kill more animals. This is a viscous cycle and eventually most big, iconic African animals will die out. Africa is in the most danger from poaching as it has so many animals that people want to hunt.
WHO ARE THE POACHERS?
Most poachers are commercial. They are organised criminal gangs that use technology to hunt the animals. They are able to kill many animals and not be found out or punished. They use technology such as guns, low flying helicopters and goggles that allow them to see at night. These people make a career out of killing these beautiful animals.
Equally as wrong is capturing wild animals. These poachers capture lions and rhinos to sell as pet. This is dangerous and unethical. Pets can be a great part of a family- a dog or a cat makes an excellent pet. Cattle and goats are very useful too. But humans should not keep wild animals as pets. They are not trained and can kill their owners. Lions, elephants and all other African animals have always been living on their own away from humans. It is best to stay this way.
Another way that poachers make their money is by killing wild animals for eating. Not only does this decrease the number of animals in the environment but it is very risky for someone to eat wild meat. The meat may come from an animal with a disease that may get passed on to you. This is deadly.
HOW TO STOP POACHERS
Everyone is able to help stop poaching. Small actions can create big differences. The following ideas can help you protect the animals of Africa.
- Spread the word about poaching. When more people know how many animals are being lost, then more people can help stop this cruel activity.
- Tourism in Africa brings in money. This tourism doesn’t hurt any animals but local people benefit from it. By supporting wildlife tourism, then poachers will not be able to hunt.
- Supporting rangers that protect the wildlife in the national parks. These rangers are very important as they scare the poachers from coming.