While riding to work I do a lot of musing about so many things I hear, read or see that by the time I get to work I have worked out an entire blog. The only problem is that once I am at work I barely touch sides with meetings and JAD sessions taking up most of my time thus leaving me very little time to prepare a blog and upload it. But I suppose I owe my soul to the company and need to give them their pound of flesh J
In the past South Africa was in the forefront of conservation of our wildlife. Nature reserves were established all around the country and the management thereof was of such high quality that South Africa was one of only a handful of countries where the number of animals increased to a very healthy population.
And it is this that now turned our country into a target for poachers. The current focus has been on the slaughter of Rhinos for their horns. The retail price for a large Rhino horn can easily turn a person into an instant millionaire and there is a ready market out there to ensure that a network is set up to smuggle the horns out of Africa to the Far East. The concern now is that as the price of ivory keep increasing that the poachers will increasingly start focusing on slaughtering the herds of Elephants in South Africa.
In an article by Sheree Bega (Star newspaper) mention is made of between 25 000 and 50 000 elephants being slaughtered in 2011. In 2012 the conflict in various African countries has been the excuse for wholesale slaughter of thousands of Elephants.
As the Elephant population is decimated in the rest of Africa for the tusks that they carry, the poachers are increasingly starting to move south. There has been an increase in poaching in Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and soon it will spill into South Africa.
Ivory is already being called “white gold” because of the high prices being paid for it.
Poaching used to be done by various populations purely as a means of surviving but those days are now gone. The estimated value of animal trafficking now exceeds R80 billion (R1 = approx. $8) which makes it a thriving business.
Once our population of Elephants has been wiped out the next animal on the list will the Lion population. No amounts of educating people that the various dried parts of a Lion are not of any medicinal value, will the killing of Lions stop.