By Gareth Jones (Opinion)
In the last few weeks, the shock waves following the terrible loss of a pregnant white rhino in the park have gone global.
Many concerned people have now sprung into action, KWS is on high alert, with a dramatic increase in security on many levels. Conservation organisations are appealing to the government to accelerate the passing of new laws with much higher fines and longer prison sentences.
Others are saying that the time has come to completely fence the Nairobi park. Any form of improvement that will protect the rhinos is naturally most welcome. However, in order to have long term success in this ongoing battle against rhino and elephant poaching, we need to look outside of Kenya and away from Africa to markets like China and Vietnam where the demand for illegally-poached animal parts like horns and tusks is high.
Unless there is a parallel strategy to do double warfare, then we face a losing battle. In South Africa, the number of rhinos slaughtered annually is now extremely high.
Kenya is now facing a major poaching onslaught as well. Action now needs to be taken to shut down the demand for rhino horn and ivory. The governments of key African nations need to pressurise the governments of countries that buy the illegal products to ban them and if they do not comply, they should stop trade relations. Consumers too need to stop buying products from countries like China and Vietnam .
There needs to be a major education drive to inform people globally that rhino horn is just the same as human fingernails and has no miracle cure. While efforts are being made to shut down the demand markets, it is still critical that the countries that still have rhino and elephants do everything possible to secure the remaining populations and hold the fort until the global demand has been minimised.
Simply speaking, this is a fight of good against evil and as it has been said before for evil to succeed, then good people just need to do nothing.