Thursday, January 13, 2011

Poaching Re-emergence : A looming threat in our community

Time and time again conservatives continue the battle with poachers. On Friday 07th January, Kenyans witnessed the brutality of poachers when they got caught with 81 elephant tusks and several Rhino horns!This translates to about 40 elephants dead.This comes barely 2 months later when heavily armed poachers struck at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, killing a rhino and hacking off its horn, sending ripples through the community!

These attacks seem to be on the rise not only in Kenya but through out the world.Early this week , South Africa National Parks' CEO announced that in 2010 alone, South Africa lost 333 Rhinos due to poaching and arrested 162 poachers!"The year 2010 will always be remembered as being one of the worst years for conservation in the Republic of South Africa because of the ruthless assault on rhino populations by merciless criminals," said Dr Mabunda

The fact that every other day Africa looses an animal  due to poaching is worrying.Statistics provided by World Wildlife Fund show that more than 600 rhinos were poached across Africa in the last five years!This trend is alarming to a point where armed rangers have to accompany rhinos and other animals as they browse just to keep the animals alive.

Following the Meru arrest of 07th January, this just goes to confirm findings by the Lowveld Project and WWF that "highly organised international poaching criminal syndicates deploy advanced technologies ranging from night vision scopes,silenced weapons,darting equipment and helicopters to carry out their mission"

This report perhaps outlines that we need a return of the campaign that we saw in past years and more so now than ever: Only elephants should wear ivory!Better still, Kenya must remain a member of the Convention on International Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES), an agreement that brings more than 170 governments of whom adhere to its protocol, a protocol that ensures the survival of wild animals and plants are not threatened.

Pictures courtesy of Google images

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