On Tuesday 21st August 2012, an incident was reported in Queen Elizabeth national park that an elephant had been killed by unknown people and its tusks stolen. It was later discovered that these were poachers!
Poaching has been a very serious problem since time memorial and is blamed for the reducing number of wildlife in the world, but in Africa, it is worse. This has been further fuelled by political instability that has wrecked havoc on the continent for a very long time making any attempts to protect wildlife impossible since the fighting usually takes place in the national parks.
It is true that some of the animals are killed for their meat especially by those people who are near the parks but this is on a small scale and it is not that dangerous.
However, the major reason for poaching for this whole period is because of animal parts, which are used for medicine locally and even abroad and even for decoration, forexample ivory.
Elephant population has been reducing since the ancient period of long distance trade between the Arabs at the east African coast and African Middlemen in the interior.
But now days, there is a very large market for animal parts in china and other Asian Countries which has led to a crisis.
Other animals are killed for their skins, which are in turn used for making shoes and other products from hides and skins.
Other people kill these animals maliciously accusing them of spoiling their crops (for herbivores) and killing human beings (for carnivores). These are the neighbors of national parks who live in close proximity to the animals.
But not all is lost; there has been deliberate efforts to educate the population about the importance of a world which has all its living things living in harmony and how it leads to the completing of the eco-system.
Organizations such as Uganda Wildlife Authority, Nature Uganda, Rhino Fund (which manages the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary), to mention but a few.
But much as poaching has proven to be a big problem, there also other problems like population pressure on land, ignorance of the population about the importance of environment (and wildlife) which is not tampered with. This has led to people setting national parks on fire, destroying all the vegetation which in turn forces animals to go and feed on their crops and even domestic animals and people since their cover is tampered with. The result is the people killing these animals.
Even another funny fact is that some animals are not comfortable with human presence and noise near them and after escaping and going to people’s homes after their peace has been disrupted, they meet their death from there!
Let us all join hands with environmental and wildlife conservation bodies and we save our wildlife.