Poacher gets Poached

Rhino poached for its horn

Rhino poached for its horn


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In much of Africa and Asia, there is a severe poaching problem. On the daily, hunters are illegally entering nature preserves and wildlife refuges to kill or maim an animal for their own profit. Gruesome images come out all the time of things like rhinos bleeding to death, with their horns getting chopped off by a machete. A skinned lion lies in the middle of the forest, long since abandoned to the flies. These animals are gruesomely left for dead while those that slaughter them take their body parts and roll in the cash that flows in.

In Kruger National Park, in South Africa, a rhino poacher got what many would say is the most appropriate karma ever. While hunting in the forest to find a rhino with a perfect horn, the unnamed man and his four accomplices came upon a herd of elephants. They thought it would be “fun” to try to hypnotize the elephants, for reasons that are unclear. Well, these elephants had had enough of their games. The elephants trampled the main man in charge while his partners fled. Lions then came and had a nice meal of the poacher. It took days to find any remains of the man, eventually finding a clean skull and a pair of pants.

Since 1960, the Black Rhino population has decreased by more than 97% (AWF). This horn sells as little as $9,000 per pound, but depending on the quality and size of the cut, it can be worth more than $60,000 per pound. The ivory in these horns can be seen as a status symbol and is used in many traditional Chinese medical remedies. Much research has been done to see if the horns actually provide any medical benefit, but after years of testing, not a single benefit has been found when it comes to using horns.

The AWF says that at the current rate, most rhinos, elephants, and other African animals will be extinct in our lifetime due to poaching. It is a severe problem that is drastically reducing the animal populations around our world. Is the money really worth brutally slaughtering these animals? Some creatures are caught alive to be sold as special pets. Others are used as food, medicine, jewelry, or decor. Even humans are getting caught in the slaughter. According to National Geographic, “In Africa, nearly 600 rangers charged with protecting wildlife were gunned down by poachers between 2009 and 2016 while in the line of duty.” There are entire armed militias tasked with trafficking ivory across borders.

 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reference/poaching-animals/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/07/world/africa/south-africa-poacher-rhino-lions.html

https://campaign.awf.org/poaching-infographic/

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