We’ve been getting a few comments recently about the number of posts on our blog highlighting the issue of poaching and what you’re asking is ‘are we getting a bit too hung up on the subject?’
I don’t think so. No way.
From a purely selfish viewpoint, our business is photographic safaris, for this we need animals to photograph. But it’s a much bigger issue than that. Killing endangered animals to make medicines and souvenirs from their body parts is wrong and we should all be concerned by it. Poaching is a problem that must not be underestimated. Unless we take action now we face the prospect of seeing some species wiped out entirely from their natural habitat.
South Africa has just published figures showing that the number of rhinos poached so far this year is far greater than for the same period last year.
Mozambique has admitted that poachers have wiped out the rhino from its Limpopo National Park. In fact the poaching problem in Mozambique is so serious that there are those on the South African side calling for a fence to be erected to protect the animals in Kruger Park.
Kenya and Tanzania have both published figures showing that the number of elephants poached this year is higher than last year, with some experts warning that unless drastic action is taken Tanzania’s elephant population could be wiped out within the next 7 years.
There is no room for complacency or apathy.
It actually makes me pretty mad when I read about governments complaining about the problem of poaching and claiming that they don’t have the resources to take on the poachers. What a load of cr*p.
For countries like Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa tourism, particularly safari tourism, is huge business and they make a cartload of money from it.
It really is about time that they started to take poaching seriously and devote the money and resources to it that it needs.
If they don’t, animal numbers will continue to be depleted and the inevitable consequence will be a fall in tourism revenues.
You just need to look at Gorongoza in Mozambique to realise that it takes a hell of a lot longer to try and rebuild animal numbers than it took to lose them.
So if you think we’re being too negative it’s simply because when it comes to the subject of elephant and rhino poaching there is a lot of bad news and precious little good news around at the moment.