Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mass killings of endangered species in African Game Reserves

Many wild species are currently in critically endangered state because of human’s insensitivity and illiteracy. Even though these animals don’t have any of so called medicinal values, people are not ready to believe it; hence the illegal and immoral trade of endangered species is on high growth path.

As per the latest WWF article,

“In 2013 poachers killed 1004 rhinos in South Africa -- 606 in the Kruger National Park alone. This is a sharp increase from 668 lost in 2012 and… risks driving rhinos into serious decline… The horn is smuggled to Asia, primarily Viet Nam, where it is in demand as a status symbol and for use in traditional medicine. South Africa is working with key countries involved in the smuggling and demand including Mozambique (a key transit route), Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Viet Nam to counter the illegal trade. The aim is to halt the smuggling with increased effort and sentences and reduce demand.”

Point to be noted - “606 rhinos in the Kruger National Park”. What is happening in this South African game reserve? This is not the story of Kruger alone, but that of many other national parks in Africa and Asia. Looks like poachers are always finding a way to circumvent the protection measures.

This trade will reduce if and only if the demand for animal parts from East Asia and South East Asia diminish significantly. As long as the demand is there, poachers will take any amount of risk to fulfill it. Governments of China and ASEAN countries need to walk extra mile with African governments and conservation authorities to stop this grave crime against wildlife.


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