By Bryson Sompa
Poaching is an illegal killing of wild animals in a national park, protected area or game ranch. About 100 years ago most of the African countries had a lot of wild animals but the numbers of animals have been reducing due to several activities such as illegal settlements, agriculture, road networks and poaching.
The numbers have massively reduced in the last three to four decades because of high poaching levels. Animals such as elephants are some of the most poached because of their tusks.
In Zambia, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of wild fauna and flora, elephants have been classified in appendices II.
Appendix II includes all species which although not necessarily now threatened with extinction may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival.
The population of this endangered species grows at a lower rate, in elephants the spacing between offspring is three to four years which takes many years for the population to grow. Let us now reflect on the article which was written by Kevin Wafula in Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park.
Recent reports suggest more than 300 elephants have died in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park as a result of poachers lacing the park’s watering holes and salt licks with cyanide poison.
How many years will it take us to attain this number of elephants?. Initially the number of elephant deaths had been pegged at about 40, with numbers climbing to more than 100 in early October.
Most recently, however, aerial surveys over the park have revealed what looks to be the carcasses of more than 300 dead elephants. In almost all cases, the elephant tusks were removed, underscoring the fact that this was a coordinated poaching attack.
“It’s one more horrific chapter in the tragic story of the African elephant,” says Philip Muruthi, senior director of conservation science at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). “Though elephants may have been the target, poison is indiscriminate in who or what it kills. Lions, hyenas, vultures, kudu, and other wildlife, in addition to elephants, have fallen victim.” More....