Poaching has Become way Out of Control
Siberian Tigers are on the decline, thanks to poaching. Elephants, leopards and a number of endangered species are also falling in numbers, thanks to poaching. More searches are being conducted and arrests are being made, but it does not seem enough to help our animal friends.
A 3-month-long operation in Africa, which included the raiding of shops, intercepting vehicles and the use of sniffer dogs, uncovered more than 3,800 pounds (1,768 kilograms) of illegal elephant ivory. According to Awad Dahia, Interpol’s eastern Africa chief, the operation was setup by the international police organization and included the aid of customs departments, wildlife authorities and police from: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
Patrick Omondi of the Kenya Wildlife Service stated that:
“We have seen an increase in poaching since 2007. One of the factors we link this to is the experiment on partial lifting of (the ban on) international trade in ivory in 2007 to allow Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to sell 108 tons last year.”
Those countries and Zimbabwe were given a one-time exemption from a global ivory ban simply because they had a decent sized elephant population. All of their ivory stockpiles were sold in November of last year.
So far, 65 people were arrested during the 3-month search. The total ivory findings thus far include an airport raid that happened a couple months ago. Officials also expect the tally to rise because they’ve yet to receive ivory counts from other countries.
African Elephants are not yet an endangered species, however, their numbers are far less than they were a century ago. If something is not done about poaching soon, you may kiss them—and a lot of other animals—goodbye.
By Heidi Marshall