COVID-19, in the world of poaching, has been a blessing in disguise for the Rhinos and Elephants of South Africa. This pandemic has been hard for everyone but with the curfews that have been put in place, the main groups of poachers have not been as active and it is noticeable seeing the numbers go down. Although this is an absolute win, the issue of poaching has not gone away, as the demand for rhino horns and elephant tusks still rises. The largest direct threat to these species are the wildlife criminals. These criminals seek the horns of rhinos as, by weight, they are worth more than cocaine so smugglers go to great lengths in order to get them out of the country. The elephant tusks are used for types of medicine and are smuggled to areas mainly in Asia. There are currently anti-poaching agencies around Africa and organizations working to eliminate these groups of poachers. This is not enough on its own, it takes all of us in order to save these species as they are being hunted and wiped out by people who only care about their personal gain and not the endangerment of these animals.
Poaching is an issue around the globe that cannot be solved overnight. One way that can cut down on the level of poaching is to outlaw the purchase and sale of animal parts and products. This would stop the direct sale of any of these goods cutting off the demand line and forcing them to go underground. This would tighten the grip on the supply chain and cause many poaching groups to run out of options and to move on. Another great option would be to create more, and monitored, national parks that protect the endangered species while not breaking up their habitats. This is not a simple task and would take a lot of pushing on both sides of the fight. When you create a national park you also have to have a wildlife conservation or anti-poaching organization put in charge of keeping the peace in this new protected area. While none of us could really drop everything and go out to join these organizations, there are places where we can get involved and spread awareness to make these issues more known.
Answer these questions in the comments!
Which animals (if any) have you heard about being poached before reading this?
Are there any other actions that we should look into taking to keep these species as healthy as possible?
Are there any better ways to send aid to South Africa to s ensure the safety of these animals?
My works cited can be found HERE.