David Moloto | 04 October 2017
South Africa, a country based on the tip of the African continent that prides itself with its distinctive, diverse and magnificent wildlife. The wildlife makes our country so unique, with the “Big 5” namely the African Elephant (Loxondota Africana), Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Lion (Panthera leo) and Leopard (Panthera pardus), being the main attraction, to the antelopes and other species.
These animals need to be protected and taken care of but instead, they are brutally and mercilessly killed daily. Mostly they are killed by snares which are put out by poachers. Poaching, the illegal hunting or killing of animals in a protected area, has been identified as a major effect in the decline of wildlife as it also leads to the illegal trade of wildlife where certain foreign countries pay millions of Rands to lure citizens to sell them animals illegally and avoid following legal procedures. Poaching has proven to be a serious headache our conservation is facing today and struggling to deal with. The drastic increase in the number of poached Rhinos in the statistics for Rhino poaching from 2007 to 2016 is proof as seen in the chart (click Here).
Poaching is a nightmare to our wildlife, which it slowly strangles and puts to a permanent rest. As a result, we may soon wake up to the news that certain species of animals have gone extinct (died out completely) due to human acts that could have been controlled and/or avoided. This will mean that, future generations will only hear about some species but not get to see them physically.
It’s high time such acts are controlled to save these animals since the methods available at present are not enough to deal with the looming threat of extinction. People need to be informed and educated about the importance of saving our wildlife. Environmental education should be introduced at schools to ensure that the importance of wildlife and its need for protection is understood even from a very young age. Wildlife conservation modules should be introduced at high school level. The media also needs to get involved and assist with raising awareness through the introduction of television/radio programs and advertisements to spread the word to fight poaching and provide necessary information for saving our wildlife.
“We have to stop the blood flow. We have to be relentless in our pursuit for justice; in our pursuit for humanity. Nature is the mother of us all, and within all of us is the spirit of an eco-warrior. The war on poaching is a war on greed, but what stands to be lost is priceless” - Jamie Joseph, founder of Saving the Wildlife, Writer and Wildlife activist.