A Problem Of Poaching in Africa

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Poaching is a complicated problem in Africa. Although millions of acres are set aside by the African governments to protect wildlife, poaching, or the illegal hunting of protected animals, continues to be heavy, (The World & Its People, p577).   Poaching has become a huge problem for various reasons and we need to put an end to it. Poachers must be and can be stopped with the right efforts and movements.

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Around the world, many people are making efforts to stop this poaching/trafficking debacle. Such measures include passing laws forbidding the buying and selling of wildlife trafficking, training and equipping troops to outsmart the poachers, training dogs to be able to sniff out a trafficker, strengthening law enforcement, providing protection of endangered animals through conservation land, and educating the public.

Why are people so interested in killing these endangered animals?  Most of the animals are being killed for their tusks and horns as well as other things, like pelt in order to be sold.  African elephants are being killed for their ivory tusks.  Ivory is used to make jewelry, piano keys, billiard balls, eating utensils, religious figurines, and trinkets. Many elephants are being killed when all of these items could be made using other substances. Due to these actions, over 35,000 elephants are killed per year because of some trinkets (AWF). Other animals that are also killed more often than they should be are black rhinos, mountain gorillas, and Grevy’s zebras. In the past 50 years, the black rhinos’ population has dropped over 97% from what it used to be (AWF). The rhino horn is sold to people who believe it has magical medicinal powers that can cure hangovers, cancer, impotence, and fevers. (Library Vol 1, 2008).  Out of all four of those beliefs, none of them have been proven to work. The rhino horn is one of the most expensive items on the planet pound for pound. Currently, a pound of rhino horn is going for 60,000 dollars, compared to gold at 18,000 dollars. (AWF)

As for other endangered animals, only 1,000 mountain gorillas remain across the face of the Earth. Some researchers/officials have noticed a rise in infant gorilla trafficking. On the black market, a baby gorilla skin has been said to be sold for 40,000 dollars. The amount of Grevy’s zebras left in Africa is appalling, only 1,000 are let and is a record low. These zebras are being hunted for their skin so people can flaunt as a jacket or another article of clothing (AWF). Out of those four animals, two of them are critically endangered. Those two are the mountain gorilla and the black rhino (AWF).

Why is it so important to stop the poaching/ trafficking of animals?  As a human race we have a moral obligation to share the earth with the other living species. 

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