Stop Animal Poaching

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Animal poaching is at an all time high according to a 2016 study amongst elephants. Twenty-thousand elephants were killed in 2015 for their ivory tusks. A single elephant is murdered every fifteen minutes. In Kenya alone, one hundred twenty-four elephants are killed annually. This is about two elephants each day. As of this moment, there are only 485,000 elephants left in the world. Of course, this is an epidemic that needs to be dealt with. Many organizations have indeed realized this and are trying to help in any way they can. They (the elephants), because of humanity, are on the road to extinction and are expected to be extinct by the year 2025. Why are these elephants in such high demand, one might ask? Well, the luxurious ivory from the tusks are used by a multitude of countries for items such as pianos, necklaces, rings, chopsticks and modern day decorations. However, there is one reason that ivory is in such high demand that outweighs all of the others: income. Namibia and Zimbabwe are perfect examples of this. The ivory that is illegally poached in these countries are then sold to others such as China who pay the countries back with money. Since there is a “large” number of elephants in the export countries, it is easy to make a lot of money in a short amount of time. The ivory trade has been helping these countries for some time now, but it has recently been deemed illegal. Zimbabwe has even gone on to file a complaint document asking to consider a legal ivory trade in the future because of the crumbling economy. There are groups, despite the demand, who are trying to stop poaching from happening, period. One prime example is the International Anti-Poaching Foundation which is a non-profit organization that is trying to stop illegal poaching amongst all animals, including elephants. Since it was founded in 2009, members have talked to many communities about the dangers of poaching and how to stop it. Hopefully poaching will cease and the elephant population will grow, but elephants are not the only animals affected by illegal poaching.


Tigers, one of the largest felines in the world, are affected by illegal poaching just as much as elephants. Tigers, however, are not poached for ivory, They are poached for their body parts because of traditional chinese medicine. The use of tiger parts in Chinese medicine is nothing new, but it has only been in recent years that the increase in the standard of living in southeast Asia has made these remedies available to most people. It is no wonder then that this newly affluent population has had a great effect on wildlife numbers and the demand for tiger parts. In many places in China, tiger parts are a delicacy that is served at special private banquets. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) believes that at least one tiger is killed daily for its use in traditional Chinese medicine. An increased demand for endangered tiger parts exists throughout the world. China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Great Britain are involved in the tiger trade. There are currently thirty-two thousand tigers in the world; This means that by year 2026, tigers will be extinct. This is yet another animal that one learned about in kindergarten becoming extinct. It is amazing how an animal so common can disappear right before someone’s eyes. Several Asian nations including China, Nepal, Japan, South Korea and Thailand have endorsed tough protections for tigers in the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. However, there is still a huge demand for tigers because of the traditional Chinese medicine.


Rhinos are also suffering, but at a much more alarming rate. Over the past few years, there has been a shocking increase in rhino poaching. In 2011, in South Africa alone, four hundred forty-eight rhino were poached for their horns and as of mid-2012 over three hundred have been poached. Only one hundred Sumatran rhinos are left as well as four northern white rhinos. At this rate, rhinos could become extinct by 2018. Demand from China and Vietnam have elevated the price of rhino horns to new levels. There have been reports that rhino horn has been fetching prices as high as $50,000 per kilogram, which is similar to the street price of cocaine in the United Kingdom. This demand has obviously resulted in a humongous surge in the number of rhino poaching incidents. However, there are not that many rhinos left in the world (they are considered an extremely endangered species), so the price is continuing to rise. The demand for rhino horns is so high because it is also used in traditional Chinese medicine, but they are now used to show someone’s wealth as well as their strength. The supposed cures, which have been discovered by Chinese medicine, include cancer treatments such as Breast, Pancreatic, and Squamous cell carcinoma. Finally, the groups that are trying to stop this poaching are quite abundant. One major group is the Save The Rhino Foundation which has a website where one can donate to the support of free living animals. There are also groups of people that carry loaded arms around the northern white rhinos to protect them from poachers. If it were not for these people, humanity would not have had Rhinos in the 21st Century.



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