Killing Fields of Africa

01 Mar



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.

photo by Ross Warner

photo by Ross Warner


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.


Posted by on 01/03/2013 in Envioronment, Game reserve, Photo, South Africa


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7 responses to “Killing Fields of Africa

  1. 68ghia

    01/03/2013 at 12:42

    It’s such a sad state of affairs to read this Paul.
    How can it be stopped? Killing the poachers makes no difference – there’s always more out there.

    • paul

      01/03/2013 at 12:52

      I have friends who have game on their farm and they have had to hire security to follow their rhino all the time. Unluckily this cannot be done to on all farms.
      I have heard that the total number of elephants remaining in the rest of Africa is less than the total we have in South Africa. Until we stop the market for horns and tusks there will always be someone out there willing to slaughter animals for financial gain.

      Here in South Africa we have the constitution protecting the criminals. We are not allowed to shoot them and bury them out in the open grasslands because then we are in more trouble 🙂

      • 68ghia

        01/03/2013 at 13:07

        I’m thinking a pack of very hungry wild dogs. Jackals. Hyiena’s, lions.
        Such a shame that the only way to solve this is with more violence.
        And if you shoot them in the veld and leave the carcasses there – who’s to know? The animals eating them? They don’t care – give them a taste of long pork – might help with poachers in the long run – free and easy food 😉

  2. colonialist

    01/03/2013 at 14:25

    Poachers should have war declared on them – literally. Then one can shoot them or blow them up or whatever quite legally.

    • paul

      01/03/2013 at 14:51

      good idea.
      Maybe we can organise hunting trips with prizes for the most poachers shot.
      In this case many a true word spoken in jest

      • colonialist

        01/03/2013 at 17:02

        Wonderful idea! Set them up for the rich Americans …

  3. colonialist

    01/03/2013 at 21:16

    Actually, the best solution of all would be to flood the market utterly with indistinguishable fakes. Some handy little fortunes could be made by the forgers, until the poachers would be out of a job. I wonder if we can interest the Nigerians in going for it now that pirating is endangered?


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