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Poaching: A Final Solution Needs to be Reached

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Poaching: A Final Solution Needs to be Reached

Imagine a three-year-old girl going to the zoo for her birthday. All she wants to see is the elephants. With her stuffed elephant clutched to her, she scurried to the exhibit. All that remains there is a sign, “All elephants have passed away: due to extinction, all elephants are gone”. What’s the source of this? Poaching. While there are some laws banning poaching, it continues to be a vital problem that needs to be strongly enforced. With more and more animals starting to be endangered, progress towards ending the source of this should speed up.

Poaching is the illegal hunting of wild animals. Poaching “occurs throughout the world and threatens the survival of many scarce species, such as elephants and rhinoceroses” (Brooks). There are different drives that cause poachers to perform the intolerable acts. Some include valuable parts of the animals’ bodies. Examples of these parts can include the horns of rhinoceroses and the ivory tusks of elephants and walruses. Poachers then are able to sell these body parts for money or trade them for items that include guns and drugs. Guns and drugs? Those surely are a necessity. With guns, different poachers will capture animals that are still alive—for example, small birds—and sell them illegally as small pets. A person probably would not want to know that their pet was captured illegally. Other poachers will “merely kill animals for fun or to brag about what they poached” (Brooks).

Up until the end of the 1980s, “the forests and savannahs on the eastern side of the central African Republic were full of wild animals” (Nielsen). During that time period, only local hunters and a small amount of poachers killed everything they could eat. This didn’t seem to make a big difference. The populations were still at a safe level until later on in the ‘90s, that’s when the ‘resource wars’ began. Large, well-organized gangs of poachers came from Sudan. With them, they brought the ideas of cutting the hides and meat that they slaughtered from the carcasses of multiple animals including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffalo, and elephants (Nielsen). Also, with the poachers came a sharp decline in the total amount of wild animals. Resource wars? Try war to get the most animals endangered.

Between 1979 and 1989, the demand for ivory across the globe caused the elephant populations to decrease to a dangerously low level. During this time, poaching caused Africa to lose half of their elephant population. Due to just the tusks, the population went downhill. In 1977, 1.3 million elephants inhabited Africa; by 1997, only 600,000 remain. Although it is illegal to kill an elephant in Africa, people still continue to slaughter the mammoth beasts. With hundreds of elephants just killed for their ivory tusks—they are left there to die (The Poaching Problem). Killing a five ton animal for only one part of them is absurd.
International trade of ivory was outlawed ever since 1989. Yet, on 2002, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) approved the sale of ivory that was taken on after the elephants died naturally. Poachers are just such good citizens of Africa that they would never take ivory if it wasn’t from a naturally dying elephant. With there being so little ivory, the demand has risen to extreme amounts. So for some people, obtaining ivory and selling it will make them massive amounts of money—which overall hurts the elephants. As always, there are ways to get around this allowance of naturally occurred ivory. Furthermore, as a result of the ban on elephant poaching, the rareness of the ivory has driven hippopotamus poaching to be more than five times what it was in 1989 (Pearce). There’s really no way the law can win with poaching: you ban it: the rareness harms the animals. If you don’t ban it: there’s not going to be any animals left. All that you can do is decrease the demand. If no one wants ivory, it won’t be poached.
Usually a person wouldn’t want to know that the items that have obtained were killed illegally. When an average citizen finds out that there are thousands of elephants just discarded to rot, they feel remorse and know that they don’t want this to continue. For such little items such as tusks, teeth, and such, poaching is ridiculous. If human teeth became popular for fashion, society would not allow there to be major killing sprees happening. Very much in similarity, poaching should further be controlled and looked down upon. People shouldn’t think about what they’re obtaining, but how they are obtaining it.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

Bob said...
Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm:
Save the elephants!!!!!!!!!!
 
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kklola said...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 11:39 am:
hihihihihihihiihiiohihihihihiihi :D
 
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save the ellies said...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm:
How would you like it if you were poached? If you wouldent like it dont do it. save the elephants before there extinct. I dought you would like to be extinct so save the elephants!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
lover101 replied...
Sept. 13, 2013 at 11:53 am :
Wow so true!!!!! ;D
 
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