A Brief History
On September 6, 2013, ivory poachers in Africa poisoned and killed 41 elephants at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The WWF reports about 20,000 elephants are killed illegally each year in Africa by poachers, out of a world wide total of only 415,000 African elephants. Incredibly, in 1930 there were about 10 million wild elephants in Africa!
Despite strict anti-poaching laws, poaching takes a terrible toll on many types of animals. There may be about 30,000 Rhinos left in Africa, of which only 6000 are Black Rhinos, which numbered over 100,000 as recently as 1960. In 1900, 500,000 Rhinos were wild in Africa. The three species of Asian Rhinos are quite near extinction. Rhinos are poached for their horns, used in folk medicine.
Many other animals are poached for food, folk medicine, and fur. Some of the animals most affected by poaching include Gorillas, Snow Leopards, Tigers, Sea Turtles, and Pangolins.
Question for students (and subscribers): What can we do to eliminate poaching? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Nuwer, Rachel Love. Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking. Da Capo Press, 2018.
Sommerville, Keith. Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa. Hurst, 2020.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by JackyR of African bush elephants in a waterhole of Hwange National Park, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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