By Jill Harness
First the bad news. Not only has poaching increased drastically over the last decade, it turns out that much of the money made from poaching is funnelled directly into terrorism.
Now, the upside. That means that becaue the US has declared a war on terror, we have extra incentive to fight poaching as well. In fact, a new bill was recently announced that would put $80 million towards fighting poaching.
And that's not the only good news. It turns out that Al Jazeera English has also announced that they are soon going to be airing a new show all about the brave park rangers of Africa who fight poachers every day. This is good not only because it will bring a lot more attention to the war on poaching, but will also hopefully bring in some additional funding to protect elephants and rhinos in these areas. The show is called Wildlife Warzone and you'll have to check your local listings to find out when it's actually on.
If you want to get involved in the anti-poaching effort, you don't have to have a lot of extra money to donate, nor do you have to be willing to fight on the front lines. In fact, you could even make $25,000 and win a free 10-day trip to a South African Wildlife Reserve for helping to fight poaching -that is, if you can design an anti-poaching drone that can help protect endangered rhinos. The prize was announced by Kashmir Robotics, who is hoping to help the white rhinos of South Africa's Kruger National Park.
If you're interested, you'd better get busy because the deadline for entries is December 1. Also, you can't have more than five people on your team and the total cost of the drone can't be higher than $3,000 so the parks can afford to actually buy and use them.