By James P. Farwell
Arriving on military helicopters, aided by night vision camera, the attacks opened up on their victims with AK-47 weapons. It was a massacre.
The photograph is heart-wrenching and tragic. It is of elephant carcasses, some of 86 elephants slaughtered in Chad a few weeks ago. The victims included more than 30 pregnant females. Many aborted their calves when shot. The hunters butchered some, and left the others to die. The elephants had huddled together helplessly for protection.
Poachers are decimating the forest elephant. Populations have declined 62% in ten years. Unless something changes, elephants are headed for extinction in the wild.
The Rhinoceros story is equally alarming. Poaching of South African rhinos up 50% since 2011 and 5000 percent since 2007. The market for their horns, which can fetch $30,000 apiece, more per gram than gold or cocaine. Asians, especially Vietnamese and Chinese, consume the horns believing them to be a palliative. Rhino populations have dropped 90% in just fifty years.
Some say the Vietnamese are worst. They've already slaughtered their own Javan rhinoceros to extinction. Now they've set their sights on Africa. One Vietnamese diplomat was caught on camera receiving a rhino horn in the parking lot of the embassy in Johannesburg. It's not just Vietnamese or Chinese, though. The guilty users include Asian Americans. More....