Elephant Massacre in Botswana; Restore Anti-Poaching Units Now
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On September 3rd, 87 elephant carcasses were found near the Okavango Delta wildlife sanctuary in Botswana. This is an unprecedented massacre considering Botswana has been recognized as one of the formidable defenders and conservationists of wildlife in Africa.
Botswana is home to approximately 130,000 elephants. Due to its steadfast conservation, elephants from other countries were crossing the borders into Botswana for safety.
However, after the election of President Mokgweetsi Masisi in May of this year, anti-poaching units (APU) were removed from the country’s borders and the anti-poaching teams’ weapons were confiscated. If these APUs were present, this recent killing spree of elephants could have been thwarted successfully.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council in 2017, 74% of travel to Botswana was by tourists compared to business travel. Monies generated by tourists was 686.6 million USD or 7,119.6 million BWP (Botswana Pula) and this contributed to 26,000 jobs for 2017. The obvious reason tourists travel to Botswana is to see wildlife. If anti-poaching units are not restored, the number of wildlife will continue to dwindle and in effect lead to a loss of revenue and jobs, affecting the economy as a whole.
Each year approximately 35,000 elephants are killed in Africa. If their population continues to decline due to poaching, ecosystems will be affected. The presence of elephants in the delicate ecosystem is undeniably paramount in not only supporting other wildlife but for the people who live in Africa as well. Elephants in the wild aide in generating tourism dollars which fuels the economy that then helps to feed the hungry, finance education programs and enable health-care programs that save lives.
The wildlife presence in Botswana has an obvious overwhelming positive effect on human life. If we stand idly by, the loss of wildlife will have a negative effect in the quality of life for the people of Botswana.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi and the government of Botswana, your gravitas and solemnity are being beckoned by the world for you to restore the Anti-Poaching Units and arm game rangers. Your conservation efforts to protect the wildlife will in effect help your people and maintain the economy of Botswana.
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