Since many decades, poaching has been an issue in Africa. The killings are still occurring despite the efforts of African wildlife authorities and environmental organizations. In tanzania, over 1,200 pieces of ivory were found earlier this year. The situation is far from ideal.

In this past year, there have been several reports about poaching. Wildlife officials in South Africa announced in recent years a devastating statistic: 558 rhinos were killed in 2014. Since then, the number has risen dramatically. But it’s not only rhinos that are dying. In 2013, the elephant population was severely affected. Wildlife authorities in Africa have reported an increase of ivory poaching from mozambique to the chad. Since the beginning of the 1970s, a wide range of illnesses were treated with ivory. From hangovers through to cancer. It was also used in carvings. In order to protect these animals, international campaigns have been launched. The security of the area has also increased. Wildlife sanctuaries have been built. Rhinoceroses once populated Africa in large numbers, but poaching has reduced the population. The poaching of rhino horns was at an all-time high in South Africa during the year 213. The horns of rhinoceros are prized by some cultures as an aphrodisiac. Others collect them to decorate their homes. Safaris use them, and if the poaching rate increases, this will be a major loss for the safari industry. “Just as people who are saddened by the death find a dollar-value in the creature’s life, Africans can benefit through tourism from its existence.” The “Big 5”, of which Rhinos are one, is marketed as a safari to tourists who wish to see them (Wardlow). Elephants, rhinos, and other animals are killed for their meat, not to poach them. This is a way of making money that does not involve poaching.

According to experts, the only way that poaching can be stopped is by imposing harsher penalties. The illegal hunting of elephants has reduced the population from 167,000 in Kenya to 19,000 today. Illegal poachers are increasing and elephants and rhinos are dying because ivory prices have increased. In thirty years, ivory cost $300 per kilo. Poachers today can make up to $2,500 from one bull elephant. Cynthia Moss at the Amboseli Trust for Elephants added to this fact by saying: “In countries where people are earning less than a dollar each day, those would be many salaries for some”. Moss makes this claim in order to explain why some people decide to work as poachers. As poaching becomes more sophisticated and widespread, it may require higher anti-poaching cost per area. To stop rhino and elephant poaching, Africans should cut off their ties with China. Ivor used in jewelry and art items is ivory that has been carved. China is the largest consumer of ivory and a major contributor to sales. The New York Times reported in 2012 that there was a significant increase in ivory poaching. 70% of the illegal ivory flowed to China.

The killing of rhinos and elephants is morally wrong and must be stopped immediately. Many people are trying to put an end to this. In four years, wildlife scouts of the lungwana Integrated Resource Development Project arrested 2,406 persons and confiscated 3,391 rifles. But this wasn’t enough to save animals in North lungwana. North lungwana’s national park once housed 17,000 elephants. That number has now dropped to just 5,000. The rhino population has gone from 8,000 in 1992 to zero today. There is the question “Why should I care?”. Because rhinos affect an ecosystem’s integrity and other species’ survival. The lions or vultures would be affected if rhinos were to disappear. It is important to take care of rhinos because the next generation will not see them.

Africa’s assets have been gaining in value as Asia has developed its wealth. This includes natural life, untamed animals and other items. The illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory is sustained by the rising price on the underground markets, as well as centuries old customs of considering these items to be either trifles for materialistic purposes (for rhino horn) or drugs of choice (for ivory). CITES also allowed two erratic sales of elephant ivory following the boycott in 1989. This rekindled the ivory trade. This is a decision that has impacted the mainland elephants up to this day. A few other factors that have contributed to the rise of wildlife crime in Kenya are the proliferation of small arms and lightweight weapons from neighbors, like Somalia. These weapons, used in banditry and untamed life extortion, are a result of the proliferation of these weapons. Kenya’s permeable Kenyan-Somali border offers a chance for proficient Somali groups that are more capable than Kenya to find refuge on the edge in sheltered territories. As they return from the battle field, a large number of Somali activists that were expelled from their zones of influence and control take part in natural-life poaching. So, natural life poaching is a major factor in causing local and global conflicts.

KWS has been given the right to implement Kenyan laws and guidelines on untamed wildlife. The order also includes the elimination of poaching within secured zones while reducing it in all other areas. KWS established explicit security procedures to combat natural life crime. The office’s law authorisation unit collaborates closely with the other offices that implement laws on issues pertaining to natural life safety at the neighborhood, territory and universal level. Different law implementation offices, government organisations, community networks, tradition, edge control and movement specialists and farmers have intensified and are now implementing specific security measures to combat poaching risks and other natural violations. In addition, the coordinated effort with legal expert experts from various areas of the country have increased and helped to enforce natural life laws. Kenya’s border-to-border coordinated effort with Tanzania, Uganda and other countries is focused on transboundary crimes and has produced results in combating illegal activities along shared borders. Kenya was also supported by local and international law enforcement agencies, such as INTERPOL and the Lusaka Agreement Task Force. They were instrumental in encouraging and planning transnational crime.

Moreover conservation gatherings like the African Wildlife Foundation(AWF) and accomplices encourage network- and transborder security of natural life territories. They organise their endeavors and support KWS’s goals to check untamed life crime in the nation. AWF recently upgraded KWS Canine Detection Unit, adding more mutts with training and supporting the organization. The Canine Detection Unit identifies items like rhino horn, ivory, and other natural products at seaports and airports in order to stop the trade. AWF is also leading workshops to help educate the local justices as well the police, Customs & Immigration, networks, and other authorities about the importance of natural life laws.

Most African countries have laws against killing rhinos and elephants. However, these laws are not enforced. Park rangers and other anti-poaching officers are underpaid, corrupted, and often lack the skills to protect themselves from poachers. Many examples exist of countries that successfully fought off poaching while increasing the rhinoceros and elephant population. Some countries can reduce poaching through peaceful means, but the ones that are working to stop poaching with lethal methods are those that see the most dramatic changes. CITIES is an international agreement to regulate wildlife trade. Kenya for instance would confiscate any ivory that was being sold. Kaziranga in India is the world’s best rhino sanctuary, protecting animals in a lethal manner. Justin Rowlett stated that when the park, located in Assam (in India’s Far East), was created a century earlier, there were only about a dozen Indian one horned rhinoceros. The world’s rhinoceros population has increased to 2,400, or two-thirds. It is important to note that attempts to increase non-poaching wages can upset humanistic moral sensibilities. Lethal’shoot before you ask’ methods and’shoot at first then ask later’ tactics are particularly offensive, especially when they do not reflect fair treatment or the fact that discipline should be proportional to the crime. The chances of being caught are low in many countries. Poaching has been deemed a harmless offense. In general, poaching is far from innocent. Over 1,000 anti-poaching officers have been killed in the last ten years. Poachers are often rebuffed and there is always a bounty for their position.


  • paulwallace

    Paul Wallace is a 44-year-old anthropology professor and blogger. He has been writing about anthropology and other topics for over a decade. He has also taught anthropology at the college level for over a decade.

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