Poaching in Africa Becomes Increasingly Militarized


| 12/27/2016 9:12:00 AM


Elephant in South Africa
Photo by Rhett  A. Butler

• Due to skyrocketing consumer demand, particularly from Asia, today’s wildlife traffickers have the resources to outfit their henchmen with weaponry and equipment that often outmatches that of the local park rangers.

• The poachers doing the most damage in Africa today are employed by professional trafficking syndicates, and they enjoy a level of support and financial backing unimaginable during earlier poaching crises.

• The poachers’ arsenal includes the expanding use of military-grade equipment like helicopters, machine guns, infrared scopes, and heavy armored vehicles.

 



On January 29, a 37-year-old Englishman and ardent conservationist named Roger Gower was piloting a helicopter over Tanzania’s Maswa Game Reserve when he spotted the corpse. With safari guide Nick Bester at his side, Gower, who worked for the nongovernmental Friedkin Conservation Fund, slowly circled the hacked and bloody elephant carcass below. Rangers on the ground had alerted them that gunfire had been heard the previous day, and here was the awful result. The men couldn’t see the poachers, but the dead elephant’s tusks were still intact; they were likely still nearby.



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter