The animals of Africa face many difficulties such as uncertain water supplies and reduced habitat. However, the greatest enemy of African wildlife is poaching. The illegal killing of protected animals. It is a widespread problem and threatens the continued existence of many of the world’s favorite animals.
Poaching is Big Business
In many places, poaching is an individual crime. One hunter acting alone. In Africa, poaching is big business. Globally, poaching
is thought to bring in nearly $213 billion annually.
Poachers are a Criminal Syndicate
Poaching is conducted by highly organized cartels with international networks of distributors. The “hunters” are armed with spotlights and automatic rifles. Poachers have been caught with grenade launchers and night vision goggles, chasing herds of protected species in off-road vehicles and even helicopters. This is business, not sport. And certainly not sustenance.
Prevention and Education
Groups from around the world are intervening. Educational programs are offered to teach about conservation. Local law enforcement and regulatory agencies are being empowered to do more and are being better equipped to confront their formidable foes. New jobs are being created to lessen the economic allure of poaching as a career choice. Hopefully, these strategies will effective.